This July 30, 2018, photo shows the Dorothea Dix Psychiatric Center, formerly known as Bangor Mental Health Institute, in Bangor. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

The Maine House of Representatives has endorsed a proposal to increase pay for employees of two psychiatric centers in the state.

The proposal from Democratic Rep. Seth Berry would provide a wage increase of $3 per hour for all employees at Riverview Psychiatric Center in Augusta and Dorothea Dix Psychiatric Center in Bangor. The House voted in favor of initial approval of the proposal on Wednesday, and more votes will take place in the weeks ahead.

The centers provide inpatient and outpatient services for people with severe mental health conditions. Berry said the wage increase is long overdue and will help employees who “routinely face tough working conditions and inadequate pay.”