AUGUSTA — The Legislature has passed a bill to give St. Mary’s Health System $8.9 million and Spurwink $1.9 million to support their behavioral health programs in and around Androscoggin County.

The bill presented by Sen. Peggy Rotundo, D-Lewiston, now goes to the Special Appropriations Table to compete with other bills for funding.

St. Mary’s initially asked for $10 million earlier this year but reduced its request to $8.9 million after it became clear it had a shortfall closer to that amount for its behavioral health services.

It will use the money to recoup the losses and start a day treatment program to better serve people released from the hospital for mental health issues who need a higher level of support than what is available in the community.

The Spurwink funding was added after the bill was introduced.

Tri-County Mental Health Services approached Spurwink earlier this year requesting Spurwink to take over the organization because it was having serious financial issues and might have to close its operations by the end of March.

To acquire Tri-County, it will cost Spurwink almost $2 million, which made organization board members uneasy about the idea, President Eric Meyer said at a previous public hearing for another bill. Spurwink announced Monday that it has acquired Tri-County.

Rotundo, who chairs the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee, did not respond by late afternoon Wednesday to requests for details regarding a timeline for when the bill will be considered for funding.

Related Headlines

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.