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Politics

LePage Vows to Move Ahead with Plan for New Forensic Unit Outside Capitol Grounds

AUGUSTA, Maine - During his weekly radio appearance on WVOM, Maine Gov. Paul LePage said he is moving forward with establishing a new facility for state forensic patients.

That appears to refute Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon’s assertion that the two had reached agreement for moving forward with placing the facility adjacent to the Riverview Psychiatric hospital in Augusta.

“They want to reopen it, let them do what they got to do," LePage said. "I am moving forward. We need a step-down unit.”

LePage said he is looking at land in Freeport and existing buildings in Brunswick, Augusta and Bangor as possible locations for the facility. He said he is moving forward regardless of what the Legislature does.

The governor's previous plan had called for construction of the forensic unit adjacent to Riverview on the Capitol grounds, which requires legislative approval.  LePage says if the Legislature wants to hold hearings, that’s fine, but he is not waiting for that process to unfold. Gideon was not available for comment.