Michigan Senate panel approves Cobo legislation

LANSING, MI (AP) – LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A plan aimed at keeping the North American International Auto Show in southeast Michigan is advancing in the state Legislature.

The Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee approved bills Tuesday that would establish a regional authority to oversee Cobo Center in downtown Detroit. The center would be expanded so it could keep the auto show beyond 2010.

But if the Detroit City Council were to again reject the regionalization deal, the legislation could allow an Oakland County site to bid for the auto show.

The bill passed the committee by a 3-to-1 vote and now goes to the Senate floor.

Republicans sponsoring the legislation say it is needed to prevent the auto show from moving out of Michigan.