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Bill supports St. Mary’s Hospital, Tri-County Mental Health

AUGUSTA, ME —The Legislature’s Committee on Health and Human Services approved a bill from Sen. Peggy Rotundo, D-Lewiston, to provide $10.8 million to support behavioral health services in Lewiston. The bill includes $8.9 million for St. Mary’s Hospital in Lewiston for the purpose of allowing the hospital to continue to provide critical behavioral and mental health treatment and $1.9 million to help Spurwink acquire Tri-County Mental Health Services. The vote was unanimous of members present.

“In the aftermath of the tragic Lewiston shooting, we are searching for policy solutions to keep us safer and better identify those who may be ill enough to do others harm,” said Sen. Rotundo. “At the same time, we are still dealing with the fallout from years of isolation during the pandemic, resulting in a skyrocketing need for all kinds of mental health services. I believe an important component of our response to these challenges should be to reinforce the existing mental health resources in our state. St. Mary’s Hospital and Tri-County Mental Health Services are staffed with dedicated professionals who do excellent work. I believe we should prioritize keeping St. Mary’s funded so it can continue to work on the front lines of this crisis, and we should do all we can to prevent Tri-County from permanently closing its doors.”

The bill — LD 2105, “Resolve, to Protect and Enhance Access to Behavioral Health Services in Androscoggin County and Surrounding Communities” — originally sought to appropriate $10.4 million in Fiscal Year 2025 to St. Mary’s. The hospital is now expected to save $1.5 million in revenues in Fiscal Year 2024 as a result  of changes to MaineCare hospital rate increases proposed in the Governor’s supplemental budget. The amount needed by St. Mary’s is now projected to be $8.9 million. The Committee also approved $1.9 million to allow Spurwink to acquire Tri-County Mental Health Services, in order to further reinforce the continuum of care in the Lewiston area. The bill’s new total is $10.8 million.

Representatives from St. Mary’s hospital attended the work session. LD 2105 will be the subject of votes by the full Legislature in the coming weeks.

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