AUGUSTA — Maine’s governor on Thursday signed into law a proposal to prevent two veterans homes from closing.

Both chambers of the Maine Legislature voted unanimously in favor of keeping open Maine Veterans’ Homes in Caribou and Machias.

The new law requires legislative approval to close veterans homes in the future. It also puts back into statute the six municipalities where the homes must be located.

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills said in a statement that she has proposed $3.5 million in her budget change package to provide funding for the push to keep the facilities open.

The operator of the veterans homes contended closure was necessary because of economic factors and to maintain quality of care across its system.

Senate President Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, said the passage of the bill was about “keeping our promise to Maine veterans.”

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