House, Senate At Odds Over Size Of New State Hospital

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Two more Vermont Senate committees are slated to take up the question of how to replace the closed Vermont State Hospital in Waterbury, but it appears there may be a battle between the House and Senate over the size of a new facility to be built in Berlin.

The Senate Health and Welfare approved a version of the bill on Friday saying that facility should have 16 beds, and that it will be supplemented by other, smaller acute-care facilities around the state. That matches the number of beds Gov. Peter Shumlin wants in Berlin, but is smaller than the 25 beds called for in the House-passed version of the bill.

The two chambers agree that less secure settings for people with less severe mental illness also should be expanded.

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