CONCORD — The state Senate gave preliminary approval on Thursday to an emergency measure that would draw $9 million from the state budget surplus to address a shortage of mental health beds that has patients being boarded for weeks at a time in hospital emergency rooms.

Senate Bill 11, sponsored by Sen. Tom Sherman of Rye and 12 fellow Democrats, would double the state’s Medicaid reimbursement rate for mental health beds, from $750 per day to $1,500, and subsidize renovations to existing hospital facilities to create two new 10-bed units.

Thursday, April 22, 2021