AUGUSTA — Maine officials are hoping to expand the use of electronic monitoring systems for domestic violence abusers.

The Maine State Board of Corrections is seeking proposals from counties interested in beginning electronic monitoring pilot programs in their areas. The state hopes to launch the six-month projects in one rural and one urban location beginning in January.

House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport sponsored the bill creating the pilot programs and funding for them. The state currently has $36,000 available for counties to start the pilot programs and Fredette has introduced a bill for next session that would add another $500,000 to the fund.

Somerset County has started an electronic monitoring program with donations from a benefit held for victims of a domestic homicide there.

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