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Possible pre-Labor Day school start worries tourism industry

Oct 28, 2015

Credit Jerry / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

A state Senate bill that would allow schools to start before Labor Day is drawing concern from Michigan's tourism industry.

Michigan schools are currently required to wait until after the holiday to start.

That's thanks to a 2006 law meant to help boost the state's tourism industry.

Steve Yencich is president and CEO of the Michigan Lodging and Tourism Association.

"Before the [2006] law was passed, we were pretty much relegated to only July and maybe the first week or two of August for family vacations," Yencich said.

Michigan tourism, Yencich says, is a $19.5 billion industry, with July and August yielding the highest revenues for the state.

"Anything you take from either one of those months will necessarily hurt Michigan's tourism industry and lower tax revenues and jobs for the state of Michigan," he said.

Sen. Marty Knollenberg, R-Troy, introduced the bill  earlier this month to let schools push back start dates.

It's been referred to the education committee.