A new law in Maine is designed to give patients better access to health care provided by physician assistants.

The proposal seeks to better align the laws about physician assistants with today’s medical practices and cut down on regulatory burdens, Maine Senate Democrats said. Democratic Sen. Linda Sanborn of Gorham, who proposed the law change, said access to more care from physician assistants is especially important during the coronavirus outbreak.

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills recently signed the changes into law. It was an emergency measure, which means it went into effect right away.

The proposal is designed to change the licensing rules for physician assistants, and that will remove a barrier to hiring them as practitioners, Maine Democrats said.