- Associated Press - Thursday, May 26, 2016

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Maine’s two U.S. senators are among a group of legislators who want the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs to authorize leases for medical facilities in 12 states.

Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King say the leases have been waiting for congressional authorization for more than a year.

Laws say that the Department of Veterans Affairs needs to receive authorization to lease medical facilities that have average annual rental payments of more than $1 million.

The senators say the failure to authorize the leases has hampered the VA’s ability to provide health care to veterans around the country.

One of the leases involves a potential outpatient facility in Portland. It is a public-private partnership involving Maine Medical Center and Tufts University.

Collins is a Republican and King is an Independent.

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