For the second time, the Legislative Council has put off deciding whether a bill to study the state of mental health care in Maine should move forward in the legislative session next month.

The council Thursday kept tabled the bill sponsored by Rep. Drew Gattine, D-Westbrook. The proposal seeks a study on the state of mental health care for both forensic and civil patients, and an assessment of the state’s needs and options regarding mental health care.

The second session of the 127th Legislature begins Wednesday, Jan. 6, and is reserved for emergency bills.

The Legislative Council, which decides whether a bill will be drafted and moved forward, rejected Gattine’s bill in a party-line vote in October. Gattine appealed the decision. The Legislative Council put off making a decision on his appeal with no discussion in November. It did the same Thursday.

Although Gattine would like his proposal to move forward, he said in a Sun Journal story on mental illness in jails in November that it’s the discussion he wants most.

He said Thursday that he’s glad the bill at least remained tabled because that means it’s still alive.

“The questions that would be answered if they passed this bill are questions that need to be answered, one way or the other,” Gattine said. “We need the right information so we can figure out what the right solution is for forensic treatment in house.”

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