States want payback for shutdown costs
Post-shutdown, the push is on to recoup lost dollars. It’s one case where Indiana benefits from an economy not intricately tied to the federal government. The shutdown didn’t last long enough to create total havoc for government contractors here, and civilian military employees were called back to work after a week.
Stateline.org reports that states with a large military presence and those with major research institutions suffered the greatest economic damage during the 16-day government shutdown. Washington, D.C., Hawaii and New Mexico were hit hard.
So were states that used their own money to reopen national parks. Some are now looking for reimbursement from the federal government for investments they made to preserve tourism dollars.
Sen. Lamar Alexander, a Tennessee Republican, introduced a bill that would compensate states for the money spent in reopening the national parks within their borders, but its approval prospects are unknown.
Tennessee spent $305,000 to reopen the Great Smoky Mountains National Park for five days during the shutdown, which occurred at the peak of fall tourism season. North Carolina contributed unspent tourism advertising dollars for its share.
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore was closed during the shutdown, but visitors likely made their way to the Indiana Dunes State Park nearby.
The National Park Service also operates the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial in southwest Indiana and the George Rogers Clark Historical Park in Vincennes, but neither draws the tourism dollars associated with other national sites.