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PHOENIX -- An Arizona congressman has gained support for a bill that would reimburse Arizona and other states for money used to reopen national parks during the partial federal government shutdown.

In a press release, Sen. Jeff Flake said he had received backing from Rhea Suh with the Dept. of the Interior that her agency would back legislation that would refund states that kept national parks, like the Grand Canyon, open during the shutdown.

"I absolutely support the repayment of states in this specific circumstance, and I believe that we require congressional authorization in order to do that, and I would support opportunities for that congressional authorization," she said during a Tuesday meeting.

While park employee pay was covered by the federal government at the close of a shutdown, other costs were stomached by the state. Those money used for those costs has not been returned by the National Park Service.

Flake, along with Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), are seeking reimbursement for Arizona, Colorado, New York, South Dakota, Tennessee and Utah.

KTAR Newsroom,

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