Maine committee OKs prison mental health unit bill

Maine lawmakers have advanced a proposal to create a mental health unit at Maine State Prison in an effort to help a state-run psychiatric hospital in danger of losing $20 million in federal funding. The Appropriations Committee unanimously approved the bill Thursday. It now heads to the full Legislature for a vote. Governor Paul LePage’s administration has been urging lawmakers to approve the bill to cut down on overcrowding at Riverview Psychiatric Center in Augusta, which potentially could lose half its operating budget on Sept. 2 because it fails to meet several certification standards.

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