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Prison’s funding remains unclear as lawmakers vote

March 31, 2018

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — The future of a minimum-security prison that Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s emptied is unclear as lawmakers vote on a funding bill.

The House voted 95-53 this week for another year of funding for Downeast Correctional Facility in Washington County. Lawmakers would need more votes to pass the bill after LePage overrides the veto as anticipated.

House Republican Leader and gubernatorial candidate Ken Fredette voted against the prison funding and said lawmakers must also take action on a stalled bill to create a new prerelease center in Washington County.

LePage added five guards and eight inmates to the prison after a judge ruled that the governor needed legislative approval to shutter it. Labor unions and former workers are in court arguing workers feel unsafe and medical care is lacking.

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