August 25, 2013

LePage urges mental-health wing at prison

The Associated Press

AUGUSTA - Gov. Paul LePage is calling on lawmakers to pass a bill he says will save a state-run psychiatric hospital in danger of losing $20 million in funding.

LePage said in his weekly radio address that a bill to build a mental-health wing at the state prison is needed to ensure patient and worker safety at the Riverview Psychiatric Center in Augusta.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has threatened to cut federal funding by Sept. 2 due overcrowding and understaffing.

The Appropriations Committee said it supports the bill, but did not move it forward Thursday. Lawmakers first want to hear from a group of experts this week to decide if anything needs to be added to fully address the federal government's concerns with the center.


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