Cuomo: NY state will pay salaries to keep Statue of Liberty open

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AJ Ross has more on how Governor Cuomo says New York State will pay salaries to keep the Statue of Liberty open.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island will be open for visitors on Monday, with New York state picking up the tab for federal workers.

The two sites have been closed because of the federal government shutdown.

Cuomo says the sites are vital to the state's tourism industry, so the state will spend about $65,000 per day for the federal employees who operate the sites. He says the revenue gained more than offsets the costs.

"The Statue of Liberty is a symbol of freedom and opportunity for all, and it is a gross injustice that this administration's dysfunction caused it to shut down. When this administration tries to deport immigrants, when they close down the Statue of Liberty, they are attacking who we are," Cuomo said. "New York will always stand up for the core values that make our nation truly great. New York State will not allow the vitriol of Washington to close the Statue of Liberty. "

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

New York had the same arrangement in 2013, during the last government shutdown.

Cuomo said the two sites have a major impact on the New York State economy, with 4.5 million people visiting Liberty Island in 2016, generating $263.2 million in visitor spending per year and supporting 3,400 jobs.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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