Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R-AZ) responded to the partial shutdown of the federal government by saying that the Grand Canyon might not be a priority for the Grand Canyon State.
As the government shutdown seemed inevitable on Monday, Brewer told reporters that her cabinet members were preparing for the worst.
“We are moving forward with all my cabinet directors to come forward with a plan and be ready to go in case that shutdown happens,” she said.
One reporter noted that former governor Gov. Fife Symington (R) had agreed to pick up the tab for keeping the south rim of the Grand Canyon open during the 1995-96 shutdown.
“I don’t know if the Grand Canyon is a priority for the State of Arizona,” Brewer replied. “We have a lot of other priorities out there, like our National Guardsmen, children, and people that will be hurting desperately if we don’t get something done.”
Another reporter reminded Brewer that Symington had called the Grand Canyon “an economic priority for the state” when he decided to keep it open during the previous shutdown.
“The Grand Canyon is important,” Brewer agreed. “I told my cabinet today that if they have a plan they want to present to me, I would absolutely look at it and if we can do anything, we will, if it’s financially sound and good for the State of Arizona. What we’re embarking on is very frustrating, to say the least. It’s very unfortunate that our Congress and our President can’t get their act together and do the job that they were elected to do.”
According to the National Parks Conservation Association, visitors to Arizona’s parks spend about $2.7 million a day on average. About $1.2 million a day is spent at the Grand Canyon alone.
Watch this video from KTVK, broadcast Oct. 1, 2013.
(h/t: Talking Points Memo)