Of course, because of the government shutdown, many things have lost funding and therefore had to close down, like national parks, which drives income for the federal government, as well as the state featuring the park. But since the parks have closed, income is drying up and not only are state governments suffering, but surrounding businesses also.
On Thursday, President Obama said the federal government allow governors to use state funds to keep the parks running during the shutdown. And to do so would be a good move. It’s state governments and the federal government working together to help the protect the citizens it’s meant to serve.
However, staunchly against such a proposal is Florida Gov. Rick Scott. The same day that Obama announced that states can fund the reopenings, Scott and his chief of staff, Adam Hollingsworth, announced the forbidding of state money to fund federal parks and programs. “It is important that we ensure that state funds are not committed as a temporary backfill to federal programs as a matter of course.”
Reporters who tried to talk to Scott about the shutdown’s effects on Florida were snubbed, and Scott just blamed the president multiple times.
Other than national parks, the shutdown has affected some very vital programs in the state of Florida. Head Start programs, which provides health care benefits to children in low-income homes, wildlife research and conservation science efforts, and Feeding South Florida, a food bank helping almost a million people, have been hit hard by the shutdown. But while other states’ politicians want to help its residents, Scott and his administration want to sit on their hands.
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer is already on board with the notion, as she sent President Obama a letter requesting that the federal government allow her to use Arizona-state funds and private donations to reopen the parks. The Grand Canyon brought in over $467 million and put over 7,000 people to work in 2011. Each day since the shutdown, 18,000 would-be Grand Canyon visitors have been turned away, and surrounding businesses have been losing $200,000 each day also.
“We cannot afford to turn away this kind of revenue,” said Brewer. “To do so will unnecessarily devastate the employment of thousands of Arizonans who depend on the Grand Canyon.”