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A tourist helicopter circles the Statue of Liberty, Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018, in New York. The statue is closed due to the government shutdown. President Donald Trump's budget director is holding out hope that feuding Democrats and Republicans in Congress can reach a short-term spending agreement before the start of the workweek Monday, but he worries that the government shutdown could last for several more days if progress remains elusive. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island reopened after the government shutdown

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The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island are now open for visitors, with New York state picking up the tab for the federal workers during the 69-hour shutdown.

The two sites reopened on Monday after being closed due to the shutdown which ended late Monday when President Donald Trump signed a bill reopening the federal government.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced their reopening on Sunday, saying the sites are vital to the state's tourism industry. The state will spend about $65,000 per day for the federal employees who operate the sites.

The Democratic governor had said the state would pay for the duration of the shutdown.

During the last shutdown in 2013, a number of governors used state funds to keep parks open, including the Statue of Liberty, which at the time cost $61,600 per day to reopen.

At a news conference at the Statue of Liberty, Cuomo said the site generates tourism revenue, adding that the monument serves as a welcoming beacon to immigrants arriving in the United States.

“We don’t want to lose the income,” he said. “And symbolically, you can shut down the government, but you can’t shut down the Statue of Liberty.”

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