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Maine seeks bids for new liquor contract

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) -- Gov. Paul LePage says Maine is seeking bidders for a new liquor contract with the state.

The Republican governor said in a release Friday that the Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations has issued a request for proposals.

The new liquor contract is part of the state's plan to pay back its hospitals more than $400 million dollars in unpaid Medicaid expenses.

The hospitals were paid last month after the state sold a $220 million liquor operation revenue bond. The bond will be paid back with the revenues from the restructured liquor contract.

Maine signed a 10-year agreement with Maine Beverage Company in 2004 for a one-time payment of $125 million and annual revenue sharing.

LePage says the new contract will bring in significantly more revenue to the state.