HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ The two Republican leaders of the Connecticut General Assembly say the state needs to consider closing Riverview Hospital, the only state-run psychiatric hospital for children in New England, which they say costs about $1 million per child each year.

Senate Minority Leader John McKinney and House Minority Leader Lawrence Cafero both appeared Tuesday before the Children’s Committee, urging lawmakers to support their bill that would close the Middletown facility.

There are about 65 children at the hospital, many staying for 30-day stints or longer, being cared for by about 400 employees– 273 of whom are full-time. Cafero says there are private hospitals that provide the same services for less than $500,000 per child.

The state child advocate says community services must be in place before the hospital is closed.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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