Hatch wants states reimbursed for opening national parks

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) cosponsored a bill on Wednesday that would reimburse states for any funds used to reopen National Parks that were closed during the federal government shutdown.

The proposed bill would pay back the states within 90 days of the government reopening.

“Our beautiful parks are one of the key economic drivers in our state, and Gov. Herbert did the right thing in working out an agreement with the Department of the Interior,” Hatch said. “It’s only fair and right for the state to be reimbursed for picking up the federal government’s slack.”

Five states reached an agreement with the Department of the Interior to open the parks during the shutdown, according to Politico.

New York paid $369,300 to open the Statue of Liberty for six days. Arizona paid $651,000 to open the Grand Canyon for seven days. South Dakota paid $152,000 to open Mount Rushmore for 10 days. Utah paid more than $1.6 million to open eight sites for 10 days and Colorado paid $362,700 to open Rocky Mountain National Park for 10 days.

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) introduced the bill, which is cosponsored by Sens. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.).