AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The proposed 21 bed facility would be for mentally ill patients who committed crimes but have been stabilized and no longer require hospitalization.

That would free up beds in Riverview for people who need long-term hospitalization, keeping them out of hospitals and emergency rooms.

Democrats have been concerned the LePage administration wants the new facility to be privately run.

They want answers about the funding for it and how it would be run.

DHHS officials say they've answered those questions and it's time to move ahead with the project.

"We have people backing up in emergency rooms throughout the state by having these patients receive treatment and rehabilitation services they need outside of the hospital those hospital beds open up for the mental health system through the state of Maine," said DHHS Deputy Commish. Ricker Hamilton.