AUGUSTA (AP) — Lawmakers have effectively killed a proposal to move mental health patients who have committed violent criminal acts out of residential neighborhoods and back to the former Augusta Mental Health Institute campus.
The decision came Wednesday after the Department of Health and Human Services said it would cost the state at least $2 million per year to care for the 16 patients.
Augusta Republican state Rep. Corey Wilson had sponsored a bill to get the patients out of neighborhoods, where they had been placed without notification to the public. He said some people feared for their safety.
State mental health officials said the patients represent little to no danger to the public.
The Kennebec Journal reported that nine committee members voted against the bill.