WASHINGTON, D.C. — Sen. Orrin Hatch, pesident pro tem of the United States Senate and chairman of the Senate Western Caucus’s Public Lands Subcommitee, joined with bipartisan co-sponsors Monday in a bill proposing to enact the National Park Access Act; joining him were Sens. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, Michael Bennet, D-Colorado, Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, and John McCain, R-Arizona.
The proposed Act would direct the National Park Service to reimburse states that provided funds to reopen national parks temporarily during the 2013 government shutdown.
View the full text of the bill here: 201501 Senate Bill to enact National Park Access Act
“I’m proud that the state of Utah stepped up to keep our national parks open during the government shutdown,” Hatch said. “Now that Congress has retroactively funded the National Park Service it’s time to reimburse Utah the funds it advanced during the shutdown. I look forward to swift congressional action to advance this bill.”
During the government shutdown in October 2013, six states – Arizona, Colorado, New York, South Dakota, Tennessee and Utah – advanced some $2 million to the National Park Service to temporarily reopen iconic national parks, including the Grand Canyon, Mt. Rushmore and the Statue of Liberty. Following the shutdown, Congress retroactively funded the Park Service, which has since retained the $2 million state contribution as a shutdown windfall.
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