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Lawmaker Proposes New Psychiatric Facility Be Built In Augusta

Democratic state Rep. Drew Gattine of Westbrook is proposing construction of a new mental health facility in Augusta.

He says last summer, Gov. Paul LePage said he was ordering the construction of a new mental health facility to be built on land adjacent to the Riverview Psychiatric Hospital, then he said it would be built in Bangor.

“I believe, and I think this could be verified, that the department has never come before this committee and talked to this committee about what plans it has to build this facility,” Gattine says.

The facility is needed because federal officials determined Riverview was improperly housing patients who needed intense hospital treatment alongside those who no longer required that kind of care.

Gattine’s bill drew broad support, and no one from the LePage administration testified on the proposal. Members of the Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee are asking the department to explain the status of the facility.