Mich. Senate votes to keep funding high-tech jobs fund

<p>The bill now goes to the House.</p>

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The Michigan Senate has voted to continue using $75 million a year from the state's settlement with tobacco companies and putting it into an economic development fund.

Current law provides money for the 21st Century Jobs Trust Fund through the 2015-16 budget year. Legislation approved 33-4 by the Republican-led Senate on Thursday would provide $75 million a year for three additional years.

The 8-year-old fund aims to encourage economic diversification and high-tech job creation in the life sciences, advanced manufacturing and defense industries.

Michigan lawmakers in 2005 approved selling part of the state's tobacco settlement to gain $1 billion to invest in up-and-coming industries. Critics question if enough jobs have been created.

The bill now goes to the House.

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