The Statue of Liberty is not going to stand for this shutdown anymore. Though the federal monument has been closed indefinitely thanks to the furlough, Governor Cuomo says it's about damn time to reopen it, so New York State will be funneling about $61,600 of its own money per day into the attraction to keep it going, starting this weekend.
Cuomo reached a deal regarding reopening the statue with the National Park Service yesterday, after the Obama administration agreed to allow states to open their monuments, provided they paid the employees' wages on their own. "We will not allow this international symbol of freedom to remain closed because of the dysfunction and gridlock of Washington," Cuomo said in a statement yesterday.
And New York's not alone; Utah, Colorado, South Dakota and Arizona worked out deals to reopen monuments like the Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore and Zion National Park. "It's going to be awesome," Jenna Milligan, an employee at an outdoor gear rental shop near Zion National Park, told the Daily News. "A lot of businesses have suffered severely because of the government. I just hope it does stay open through autumn."
Lady Liberty's had a rough road recently, having been closed for the past couple of years thanks to an extensive renovation followed by damage from Hurricane Sandy, and she's only been open since July 4th weekend. And her closure comes at no small cost to local business; the statue and Ellis Island usually get an estimated 7,000 to 10,000 passengers a day, and in 2011 the Lady generated about $174 million in revenue.
And so, we have a (temporary) shutdown solution! Though if the federal government starts ceding more power to the states, we're going to start harkening back to the Federalist vs. Anti-Federalist days over here.