The Maine House has voted two to one against a measure that would allow more - and more prominent - signs on businesses and points of interest. Democratic Rep. Ann Peoples of Westbrook opposes the measure.
"We have a brand in the state of Maine, and this is a threat to that brand," Peoples told her colleagues. "We have a quality of place in the state of Maine, and this is a threat to that quality of place.
But the bill's sponsor, Republican Rep. Dennis Keschl of Belgrade, says the measure would restore some of the property and free speech rights he says business owners lost when the existing law was enacted.
The measure would allow signs to be erected further from a principal structure - from the currently-allowed 1,000 feet to 1,500 feet. It would also allow changeable signs to change once a minute, rather than once every 20 minutes, and allow for changeable signs to be erected so they can be seen from the interstate highway system.
The bill faces further votes.
This story was reported and written by Ed Morin.