AUGUSTA — Maine lawmakers have given initial approval to a bill that’s intended to get more students who aspire to be electricians into the field as helpers.

The House on Tuesday gave initial approval to the bill, which changes the state’s electrician licensing laws by changing the number of helper electricians that may be supervised by a journeyman electrician from one to two.

The bill faces further House and Senate votes.

Republican supporters said the bill encourages more students looking for careers in the trades to get into the field.

Democratic opponents warned that less-experienced electricians would be taking jobs from more experienced master electricians. They also said the demand for electricians is estimated to decrease during the next few years.

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