AUGUSTA – A bill from Senate President Troy Jackon, D-Allagash, intended to prevent the Maine Veterans’ Homes in Caribou and Macias from closing, has been scheduled for a public hearing before the Legislature’s Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee on Wednesday, March 2 at 2 p.m.
“To me, this is about making good on our commitment to the brave men and women who served our country and their spouses. Our veterans in need of long-term care should be able to get the high-quality care they deserve near their loved ones and community,” said President Jackson. “I hope people will join me in testifying to keep the Maine Veterans’ Homes open in Caribou and Machias. Our veterans and their families were there for our state and country when we needed them. Now it’s our turn to repay this debt.”
The bill – LD 2001, An Act To Fund and Support the Veterans Homes in Caribou and Machias and Require Legislative Approval for the Establishment and Closure of Veterans Homes – would require the Board of Maine Veterans’ Homes to seek legislative approval to close the long-term care facilities caring for veterans and their spouses. It also provides funding for the facilities in Caribou and Machias to support continued operations.
Maine Veterans’ Homes was established by the Maine Legislature in 1977 as a quasi-state non-profit to provide long-term care to veterans and military spouses. MVH operates six facilities throughout the state in Augusta, Caribou, Scarborough, Bangor, South Paris, and Machias. These locations were originally determined by the Maine Legislature but 2016 legislation stripped this language from statute.
Individuals interested in testifying on these proposals should sign up no later than 30 minutes prior to the start of the public hearing at www.mainelegislature.org/testimony. The link also allows individuals to submit written testimony. Interested parties in need of accommodation to participate in the public hearing should contact the Legislative Information Office as soon as possible at 207-287-1692 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Committees will not be receiving testimony at the State House complex at this time and will be conducting all meetings electronically. Public hearings can be heard via www.mainelegislature.org or live-streamed via www.youtube.com/mainestatelegislature.