A bill to prevent Maine public schools from using mascots and logos depicting Native Americans is moving ahead.
The Legislature's Education and Cultural Affairs committee voted 7-5 along party lines Monday to recommend the legislation. Democratic Rep. Benjamin Colling's bill faces further votes.
A bill amendment would also extend the ban to publicly funded educational institutions like the University of Maine system.
The Maine Education Department urged schools this year to refrain from using mascots and logos depicting Native Americans. Democratic Gov. Janet Mills and several tribal leaders have said Skowhegan's mascot harms Native Americans.
Republican lawmakers argued Monday local boards should decide such issues.
A handful of Maine schools had continued to use Native American-themed sports mascots in past years.
Skowhegan High School retired the school's nickname in March.