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Senate gets bill to reimburse states for park operations during shutdown

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States that operated national parks during the government shutdown last fall could get reimbursed for their costs under new legislation. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) introduced the National Park Access Act (S. 2104), which would direct the National Park Service (NPS) to pay states back for their costs of operating the parks last October. Flake introduced the bill on Tuesday, March 11.

The Department of the Interior has endorsed the concept but hasn't commented on this particular bill. NPS has received the money from Congress for the costs but hasn't yet passed it on to the states.

In a prepared statement, Flake stated ā€œIā€™m pleased to introduce this bipartisan bill on behalf Arizona and the other states that stepped up to ensure public access to national parks during the government shutdown. I look forward to its prompt passage.ā€

Seven senators cosponsored the measure. It was referred to the Committee on Energy & Natural Resources.

Total reimbursement would come to about $2 million.

Read Flake's statement on the bill and view the legislation at http://www.flake.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=78ae163d-....

For info on related legislation pending in the House, see the stories linked to below.

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