Senators Introduce Consensus Legislation to Address National Park Service Maintenance Backlog
Tuesday, July 10, 2018
Posted by: William Higgins
Interior Secretary Zinke, Conservation & Recreation Groups Praise Bipartisan Consensus Legislation to Address $12 Billion National Park Service Backlog in Deferred and Overdue Maintenance
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Mark Warner (D-VA), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), and Angus King (I-ME) introduced the Restore Our Parks Act, bipartisan legislation that would address the nearly $12 billion deferred maintenance backlog at the National Park Service (NPS). The consensus proposal is the product of bipartisan discussions among the senators who had previously introduced similar bills, the National Park Service Legacy Act (Warner/Portman) and the National Park Restoration Act (Alexander/King). In addition to these four members, Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Cory Gardner (R-CO) are cosponsors of the bill. This consensus legislation has been praised by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke.
“Since my confirmation hearing, I’ve been adamant that we must address the nearly $12 billion maintenance backlog in our National Parks. I’m happy to see Senators Portman, Warner, King and Alexander teamed up to craft a very strong and historic bill to rebuild our national parks,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke.? “Park infrastructure is about access for all Americans. ?In order for families, children?, ?elderly grandparents?, or persons with disabilities? to enjoy the parks, we need to rebuild basic infrastructure like roads, trails, lodges, restrooms and visitors centers. This is not a Republican or Democrat issue, this is an American issue, and ?I think that the bipartisan body of lawmakers who put this bill forward is proof. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Administration and Congress to see this come to fruition.”
The Restore Our Parks Act would establish the “National Park Service Legacy Restoration Fund” to reduce the maintenance backlog by allocating existing revenues the government receives from on and offshore energy development. This funding would come from 50 percent of all revenues that are not otherwise allocated and deposited into the General Treasury not to exceed $1.3 billion each year for the next five years.
Read the full press release here.
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