New legislation moving through the US Congress aims to repay the states for costs of reopening the national parks during October’s federal government shutdown.
The state of Tennessee, Sevier and Blount Counties, and the state of North Carolina paid the federal government $300,500 to reopen the Great Smoky Mountains National Park for five days during the shutdown.
The Senate version (S 1572) is pending action in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. The House version (HR 3286) is on the House floor and could see a vote when lawmakers return next month.
Tennessee US Senator Lamar Alexander told the Knoxville News Sentinel that if the bill doesn’t make it to the Senate floor, he’ll add an amendment on another bill to make sure the states are repaid.