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The "bullet proof" vest initiative sponsored by Rep. Kelly Burke in the House and Senator Tony Munoz in the Senate has now passed both chambers and is awaiting Governor Quinn's signature.

House Bill 5688 creates the Law Enforcement Officer Bulletproof Vest Act. Provides that each law enforcement agency within the State shall provide a bulletproof vest for every law enforcement officer of that agency who is employed as a new recruit by that agency on or after the effective date of the Act as part of the officer's initial equipment issue. Provides that each bulletproof vest shall be replaced before the expiration of the warranty period of the vest at the expense of the law enforcement agency. Provides that all officer bulletproof vests shall be replaced by the law enforcement agency within a 4-year period after the effective date of the Act. Provides that the State or unit of local government which has jurisdiction over the law enforcement agency shall apply to the United States Department of Justice under the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Act of 1998 or a successor Act for matching grants of one-half the purchase price of the bulletproof vests for the officers of the law enforcement agency. Provides that if the law enforcement agency is a local law enforcement agency and not a State agency, one-half the costs of purchasing the bulletproof vests shall be from State funds and one-half from the funds of the unit of local government, including the matching grants received from the United States Department of Justice. Provides that the Act does not apply if United States Department of Justice and State matching funds are not available or if the law enforcement agency collectively bargains with its officers or the exclusive representative of the officers for allowances to purchase bulletproof vests.

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