Maine lawmakers have again approved a bill to create a special state unit dedicated to investigating unsolved homicides, but the measure still needs to be funded.
The bill was given final approval in the Democratic-led House Tuesday with a 144-1 vote. On Wednesday, the Senate placed it on the "special appropriations table," where it will compete for funding in the upcoming state budget.
The nearly $500,000 bill would support two state police detectives and a forensic chemist who would work with a prosecutor in the attorney general's office.
The measure creating the unit was passed last year but never funded. Democratic Sen. Linda Valentino, the bill's sponsor and a member of the Appropriations Committee, has also introduced a budget amendment to ensure funding for the unit is realized this year.