Alexander renews effort to pass federal spending bill

U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Jeff Flake of Arizona have reintroduced legislation to reimburse Tennessee and five other states for using their own money to keep national parks open during the federal government shutdown of 2013, reports Michael Collins.

The bill, filed Monday, would give back to the states some $2 million in state and local funds they used to keep open the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and other national parks during the 16-day government shutdown. Tennessee’s share of the funding would be $60,000.

…Alexander introduced similar legislation last year, but the bill died in the Democratic-controlled Senate. The bill is expected to have an easier journey through the chamber now that the GOP is back in the majority.

Besides Tennessee, other states to be reimbursed for keeping open state parks within their boundaries are Arizona, Colorado, New York and South Dakota.