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Pure MI campaign linked to MEGA scandal

By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network



The state House has linked funding for the Pure Michigan ad campaign to a measure tht would require the state's economic development agency to conduct background checks on applicants for tax breaks.

The House action is in response to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation mistakenly granting a $9 million tax credit to a convicted embezzler. House Speaker Andy Dillon says the incident was a big embarrassment. He says funding for the Pure Michigan campaign is a chance to send a message.

"We're sending this money to a department that's not doing its homework," he says. "I don't want them to think that we're willing to give them more money after what I just read in the paper."

The House approved a measure that would allow the MEDC to borrow up to $20 million to get the Pure Michigan ads back on the air in time for the summer travel season. The loans would be secured by future revenue from a proposed tax on airport rental cars. But Republicans are opposed to the tax, and the controversy may have to be settled next week by a joint House and Senate conference committee.

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