AUGUSTA— A bill to prevent Maine public schools from using mascots and logos depicting Native Americans has passed the House.

The Democratic-controlled House voted 88-49 largely along party lines Tuesday to recommend the legislation. Democratic Rep. Benjamin Colling’s bill faces further legislative action.

The House passed an amendment to also extend the ban to publicly funded educational institutions like the University of Maine system.

The Maine Education Department has urged schools to refrain from using mascots and logos depicting Native Americans. Democratic Gov. Janet Mills and several tribal leaders have said Skowhegan’s former mascot “Indians” harmed Native Americans. The school retired the nickname last month.

Republican lawmakers argued local boards should decide such issues.

A handful of Maine schools had continued to use Native American-themed sports mascots in past years.

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