Ranger Heidi Schlichting informs visitors to Yosemite National Park of… (Craig Kohlruss / AP )
SACRAMENTO--Gov. Jerry Brown is not jumping to accept an offer by the Obama administration to use state money to reopen national parks closed by the federal government shutdown.
The Interior Department announced Thursday that it would consider reopening parks if states pledged to foot the bill for now-furloughed National Park Service personnel.
Some governors have asked for authority to operate parks in their state, and Utah Gov. Gary Herbert has already indicated he'd take the federal government's offer. But the Brown administration said Thursday afternoon it's not interested.
H.D. Palmer, a spokesman for California's Department of Finance, said "the state has no plans to front general funds in order to reopen national parks."
"While our budget is balanced, it is balanced by a narrow margin. There are a number of risks or pressures that could move things in the wrong direction," he said, including the effects of the government shutdown and potential damage if the debt limit is not raised.
Palmer said another factor for the state's decision is the lack of guarantee it would be reimbursed once the shutdown ends.
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