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February 6, 2013 | last updated February 6, 2013 11:23 am

LePage submits hospital payback bill

Gov. Paul LePage has submitted emergency legislation that calls for the state to pay hospitals $186 million in Medicaid debt, which would trigger another nearly $300 million in federal reimbursements.

The Morning Sentinel reported that LePage submitted the bill Monday that would allow the state to borrow against revenue from a renegotiated state liquor distribution contract to make the payment.

The state currently gets around $8 million annually through its contract with Maine Beverage Co. for liquor distribution. The LePage administration estimates that a new contract could bring in as much as $30 million a year. The current contract expires in 2014.

As emergency legislation, LePage's bill will need a two-thirds vote in the Legislature to pass. It would become law immediately upon passage.

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