The state Senate gave its approval May 10 to a bill that would allow minors to work longer hours during the school year.

All three Midcoast state senators — Republicans Christopher Rector of Thomaston, A. David Trahan of Waldoboro, and Michael Thibodeau of Winterport — voted for LD 516. The Senate approved it 21-13.

Rector is chairman of the Legislature’s Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development Committee, which held a hearing on the bill. He said the legislation would put Maine more in line with the rest of the country. He said Maine has one of the most restrictive limits on the hours that students can work during the school year.

“These are modest changes,” Rector said.

The Thomaston Republican noted that the bill does not require students to work but gives them the opportunity if they and their parents agree.

The bill would increase from 20 to 24 hours the maximum hours that a minor can work during the school year, increase from four to six the maximum hours a student can work during a day during the school year, and allows students to work until 11 p.m. on a night before school. The current limit is 10 p.m.

A bill that would have set a lower training wage for teenagers died in the committee earlier in the session. Rector said he had opposed that proposal.

The House has yet to vote on LD 516. Opponents to the legislation said that it would have an adverse impact on students’ school work.