- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 26, 2014

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Maine’s House of Representatives has given initial approval to a bill that would penalize businesses that relocate their call centers overseas.

The Democratic-led House voted 78-63 on Wednesday in favor of the bill supporters say seeks to encourage businesses to keep call centers in the state.

But the measure failed in the Democratic-controlled Senate earlier this week.

The bill directs the state to compile a list of Maine employers who have relocated call centers outside of the country. Those employers wouldn’t be able to get state grants, loans or tax benefits for five years.

Supporters say that the bill will protect Maine jobs.

But opponents say the measure sends a dangerous message and will discourage new companies from coming to Maine.

It faces further consideration in both chambers.

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