Finance

Now That Shutdown is Over, States Won’t Get Paid Back for Reopening Parks

A deal to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling won’t repay the states for kicking in funds to the National Park Service to open the Statue of Liberty, Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore and other national icons during the 16-day shutdown.
October 17, 2013
 

A deal to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling won’t repay the states for kicking in funds to the National Park Service to open the Statue of Liberty, Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore and other national icons during the 16-day shutdown.

According to the deals between the Interior Department and the states, Congress would need to specifically authorize the repayment of any money spent that states had donated to fund the sites.

“These funds from states are donations, not loans,” an Interior official said. “It would take an act of Congress to authorize any sort of reimbursement.”

One caveat: If a state donates money for more days than necessary — for example, it donated money to operate a site for 10 days and the government reopened after seven — the state would get the remaining balance back.

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