Maine Gov. Janet Mills greets the Legislature before delivering her State of the State Address from the Maine State House on Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022. Credit: Ben McCanna / AP

CARIBOU, Maine — Maine’s governor said Tuesday she will dedicate $3.5 million to help keep homes for veterans open in northern Maine.

Maine Veterans’ Homes in Machias and Caribou are slated to close this spring. Democratic Gov. Janet Mills said she has proposed using $1.75 million from the state’s general fund and $1.75 million in federal money to keep the homes open.

Mills said the proposal will help keep the homes open for at least one more year. That will give the state and the nonprofit group that runs the homes time to develop a long-term plan for the facilities and their residents, she said.

Mills said the proposal will be introduced to the Maine Legislature later this week.

“The veterans who live in these homes, along with their families and the staff, all deserve for them to stay open,” Mills said.

The funding “is a step in the right direction,” said Christine M. Henson, a spokesperson for Maine Veterans’ Homes.

“MVH still has serious concerns about the impact of the ongoing workforce challenges in the near and long-term and projected veteran decline in these rural communities,” Henson said. “The MVH Board is expected to meet later this month to consider all factors.”