August 26, 2013

Maine lawmakers to return for special session

The Associated Press

AUGUSTA — Maine lawmakers are heading back to Augusta this week for a special session to consider a state borrowing package and possibly a bill designed to help a state-run psychiatric hospital in danger of losing funding.

The Democratic-controlled Legislature will return Thursday to vote on the $149.5 million bond package slated for the November ballot.

The proposal requires two-thirds majority support. It would then be placed on the ballot for voter approval.

Lawmakers may also take up legislation to create a mental health wing at the state prison.

Gov. Paul LePage's administration says the bill is needed to ensure patient and worker safety at the Riverview Psychiatric Center in Augusta. The center may lose $20 million in federal funding Sept. 2 if it doesn't address problems like overcrowding and inadequate staffing.

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