Finance committee OKs $1.5 million for tourism marketing

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Legislature's finance committee has signed off on spending an additional $1.5 million on tourism marketing.

Democratic Gov. Toney Evers' 2019-21 state budget would have given the Department of Tourism an additional $5 million for marketing. Republicans who control the finance committee walked that back to $1.5 million but held off on releasing the money because the department lacked a spending plan.

The department now says it wants to expand marketing efforts to perhaps three new markets from a list of 31 cities that includes Detroit, Phoenix and Denver.

The committee approved a motion releasing the money on a 12-4 vote on Wednesday. The motion requires tourism officials to report to the committee by Sept. 1, 2020, on the size of the audience reached, department website clicks and cities targeted.