Things looked pretty bleak for Missouri’s tourism promotion program, facing a 37 percent cut in next fiscal year’s budget. But a suggestion at a joint House and Senate committee hearing on tourism might have give theprogram new life. Officials on Missouri’s Tourism Commission claim every dollar spent promoting tourism returns 53 to the state’s economy and more than four dollars into state tax revenues. So, when tourism faced a $5-Million dollar budget cut, those officials started scrambling for options. Lieutenant Governor Joe Maxwell says one Senator suggested front-loading the money so the return on investment could be realized right away and put back into the budget. And, Maxwell says the money will help fund other programs also working on tight budgets, such as senior citizen programs. Maxwell also serves asthe state’s senior citizen advocate. Maxwell says the money could go into the first part of next fiscal year’s budget or could even come in this year’s budget.
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