CARIBOU — Maine lawmakers are seeking to prevent the closure of two veterans homes in Maine.

Maine Veterans’ Homes announced that its facilities in Machias and Caribou are expected to close in the spring. Senate President Troy Jackson has submitted a bill that would require the Maine Veterans’ Homes board to seek legislative approval to close long-term care facilities serving veterans and their spouses.

Jackson’s bill also would provide money to help keep the two facilities open.

The bill was the subject of a public hearing before the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee on Wednesday. Matthew Warner, a lawyer for Maine Veterans’ Homes, said the decision to close the facilities was made after years of deliberations by an all-veteran board of directors.

Warner also testified that the bill is unconstitutional “because it would force Maine Veterans’ Homes to continue operating all of its facilities, forever, until the Legislature relents.”

Jackson said his bill protects veterans and their families.

“Our veterans didn’t throw in the towel on us when things got tough,” he said in a statement. “We shouldn’t either.”

Comments are no longer available on this story