Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island reopening despite shutdown

Posted: Updated:
JERSEY CITY -

National parks are closed during the federal government shutdown, and the Statue of Liberty was closed over the weekend.

But on Sunday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that Lady Liberty and Ellis Island will be back open Monday morning. Cuomo says the state of New York will be picking up the tab.

MORE ON THE SHUTDOWN: What's closed, who's affected

The state will spend about $65,000 dollars per day to employ the federal workers.

Cuomo, a Democrat, says the sites are vital to the state's tourism industry, and adds that the revenue gained will more than offsets the costs.

The news comes after people who were looking to visit the sites over the weekend were turned away.

The plan to reopen is good news for the federal workers who are employed at the sites, including LeShante Austin, a security officer at the Statue of Liberty.

The single mother of two says she lost a week's pay during the last shutdown in 2013 and couldn't imagine going through it again. This time around, she already lost one day of work Saturday.

Austin is still worried about the thousands of other furloughed federal employees who are not assigned to popular tourists sites. But she says she and her colleagues are happy to be able to return to the job they love.

Cuomo says the state will now pay for the duration of the shutdown, and the sites will be open every day.

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