AUGUSTA — The Maine Legislature is poised to be the first in the nation to pass a bill requiring police to get a warrant before they can get data from a cellphone provider about a customer’s location history.

The House on Wednesday voted 113-28 to pass the measure following its passage in the Senate last week by a margin of five votes. The bill must go back to the Senate for a final vote before it becomes law.

The bill, L.D. 415, sponsored by Assistant Senate Minority Leader Roger Katz, R-Augusta, would require law enforcement to get a warrant to access location information from a cellphone or other GPS-enabled devices in most circumstances, barring emergency situations, such as threats of bodily harm.

House supporters included some of the state’s most liberal urban Democrats, such as Matt Moonen of Portland’s West End, and conservative rural Republicans, such as Rep. Aaron Libby of Waterboro, a supporter of the libertarian-leaning former U.S. Rep. Ron Paul.

The Senate passed the bill May 23, 20-15.

The bill was a priority for civil libertarians, but it was rejected by the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee amid concerns from the Maine Office of the Attorney General that it could dissuade law enforcement officials from using location information as an investigative tool.

Last week, Attorney General Janet Mills told the Portland Press Herald that the bill’s supporters are “naive about police tactics,” noting that the bill requires police to tell people within three days that they’ve obtained information from their cellphone provider.

“It requires you to tell the bad guys they are under investigation,” Mills said. “This seriously impairs the ability of police to solve crimes.”

But supporters of the bill, led by the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine, said law hasn’t caught up with technology to sufficiently protect people’s privacy.

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