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McBroom offers plan to boost tourism, improve parks throughout Northern Michigan, state

LANSING, Mich. — Legislation introduced Tuesday by Sen. Ed McBroom would invest $250 million to address a backlog of infrastructure improvement projects at state and local parks and recreation areas.

McBroom’s bill, Senate Bill 703, would also dedicate $30 million each for the Northern Michigan Tourism and Sports Fund, which would be used to develop and promote sports-related tourism and recreation in Northern Michigan, and for the Mackinac Island State Park Fund.

“An increased interest in Michigan’s state and local parks, while wonderful and welcomed, has also highlighted the desperate need to fund improvement projects necessary for their operation and upkeep,” said McBroom, R-Waucedah Township, who chairs the Senate Natural Resources Committee. “Many of the facilities in our state’s parks have not had significant infrastructure improvements since the ‘60s and ‘70s. Bathrooms and access for people with disabilities are prime examples of the need and of how we are not always making the best impression on visitors.”

The legislative package would also invest $508 million for the State Park Endowment Fund, which would enable it to immediately reach a funding cap that would otherwise not be reached for another 30 years.

Michigan’s outdoor recreation industry contributes billions to the state’s economy and sustains 126,000 jobs with over $4.7 billion in wages and salaries.

Senate Bills 702-704 were referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee for review.