WASHINGTON - Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, has introduced legislation that will allow states to continue funding the operation of some national parks and monuments in the event of a federal government shutdown.
The Provide Access and Retain Continuity Act, otherwise known as the PARC Act, enables states to fund and continue operating National Parks and other federal facilities or programs that have direct economic impacts on tourism, mining, timber, or general transportation in the state.
During the recent 16-day government shutdown, Utah struck a deal with the U.S. Department of Interior allowing the state to reopen National Parks on the 12th day of the shutdown. In the event of a future lapse in appropriations, the PARC Act would allow states to immediately fund and operate these federal facilities and programs to retain continuity and provide access to America's resources, lands and treasures.
"The tourism, mining, timber and transportation industries lost millions of dollars each day that the government was shut down," Stewart said. "That's absolutely crushing to communities that rely on these industries. The PARC Act would ensure that an agreement is in place to allow states to quickly continue funding and operating federal facilities and programs that are vital to their economies, if they so choose. There is no reason that hardworking American families and communities should be punished due to circumstances over which they have no control."