Sen. Cory Gardner is attending to some unfinished business for Colorado to make sure the state doesn’t get stuck with the gargantuan bill for a government shutdown like Hickenlooper allowed in 2013.

Several western states panicked after Obama’s toadies in the National Park Service used the occasion to inflict maximum amount of pain on local economies by gating the icons, including Rocky Mountain National Park.

This was particularly tough on the Estes Park economy, where the region, and most of the state for that matter, was recovering from devastating floods.

Enter Hickenlooper to save the day, and he loans the federal government more than $360,000 from the state’s coffers to keep the park open for 10 days.

Only it wasn’t a loan. The Obama administration turned their noses up at Hickenlooper and insisted the money was a “gift” from Colorado that they had zero intention of reimbursing from their own zillion-dollar budget.

When folks in Congress told the feds to pay up, all they got was a collective “nanny nanny boo boo” and excuses that the government couldn’t do that unless Congress passed a law.

A National Park Service official responds to demands that states be repaid.

A National Park Service official responds to demands that states be repaid.

So Congress is working to pass that law.

Led by Gardner and fellow Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona (home of the Grandest Canyon), the bill they’ve authored tells the government to repay states for operating national parks during future shutdowns.

In announcing the bill, Gardner said national parks are a treasured resource and that keeping those parks open is one of the federal government’s foremost responsibilities.

“While I’m pleased that this legislation is being introduced to compensate Colorado for doing the federal government’s job during the shutdown, we should also all work going forward to ensure it doesn’t happen again,” said Gardner.

We’re looking at you, Hick.