The proposal to automatically register young men for the draft
when they apply for a driver's license or DMV ID card FAILED to
get enough votes in the Calif. Senate Transportation Committee.
However, the committee agreed to reconsider and will have another
hearing on April 25. If it fails to pass then, the bill will be
dead for the year. Faxes to the committee are needed no later than
On April 2 the committee vote was 5 for and 4 against, with several
not voting or abstaining--8 votes were needed to pass the committee.
Strong objections to the proposal were raised by several members,
including the Republican vice-chair, Sen. Tom McClintock. Some factors
in the background that influenced the vote included objections to
the Pentagon's policy on gays in the military and concern that the
DMV/SSS collaboration would be used to harass immigrants (non-citizens
are also required to register with SSS).
At the April 25 hearing, Sen. Jackie Speier (D) plans to introduce
an amended version of the bill that would still allow DMV records
to be used to register people with SSS, but a person would have
to request this by checking a box on the license/ID application
form. Selective Service has allegedly agreed to pay for the cost
of modifying the forms.
URGENT: Fax letters to the committee urging rejection of any use
of the DMV to register people with SSS. People and groups are also
needed to give in-person testimony when the hearing is held in Sacramento
(contact FCL below to coordinate).
Below is basic background information, phone numbers and addresses.
ACTION ALERT: Stop SSS from Using the California DMV for Draft Registration!
The Selective Service System has returned to the California State
Legislature for the third year in a row with a proposal to link
Selective Service registration with California driver's license
applications. As originally written, SB 1276 would automatically
register California males between ages 18 and 26 and have a disproportionate
impact on low-income youths and immigrants. The bill was rejected
by the Sen. Transportation Committee on April 2. An amended version
of the bill will be considered by the committee on April 25.
This bill is part of a national campaign to coerce young men into
registering for a possible future draft. According to Selective
Service, as of February 5, 2002, thirteen states, one territory,
and the District of Columbia had enacted draft registration/driver's
license laws. Two previous attempts to enact such laws in California
To make sure your letter is included in the official hearing record
of the Transportation Committee, it should be faxed by April 18:
Senate Transportation Committee
State Capitol, Room 2209
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 445-3182 Fax: (916) 445-2209
Send/fax a copy to your state senator, especially if he or she
is a member of the committee (see list below). (Mailing address:
State Capitol, Sacramento, CA 95814.) Ask TEN people to join you
in sending letters. If you need more information about hearings
and deadlines, contact one of the groups at the bottom of this alert
for the current status of SB 1276.
Some suggested points to make (these are just to get you started;
personal and original arguments are the most persuasive):
* Failure to register is a federal offense that is already addressed
by a mechanism for determining guilt and punishment under federal
law. The federal government, however, has given up on active enforcement
of the law (no prosecutions since the mid-1980s) and is, instead,
attempting to place the burden on the states with proposals like
* This bill is aimed primarily at low-income people and immigrants:
Selective Service spokesperson Lewis Brodsky told AP in 1999 that
"we suspect, based on the demographics we've seen, that it's
high school dropouts and immigrants" who are not registering.
* The language of SB 1276 does not guarantee that the federal government
will reimburse California for the cost of implementation. Motorist
fees and taxes are mandated by the Constitution to support motorist
and transportation-related programs. SB 1276 would provide no benefit
to motorists or traffic safety and, therefore, should not be funded
* This bill requires the state to assist a federal agency that
has failed to demonstrate its value and has been under bipartisan
attack in Congress. In 1999, Republican members of the California
House delegation joined Democrats to sponsor a bill in the 106th
Congress to abolish Selective Service, and legislation to de-fund
the agency actually passed the House (the Senate did not concur).
Another bill to abolish Selective Service has been introduced in
the current congress.
* The Selective Service System already has easy access to young
men through its taxpayer-funded media, Internet and high-school
campus registration campaigns.
* The purpose of Selective Service registration is to identify
people for a possible military draft. Selective Service refuses
to allow conscientious objectors to indicate their beliefs at the
time that they register, and the Pentagon continues to discriminate
against people based on sexual orientation. With this proposed law,
therefore, California would be supporting a violation of conscience
and the military's antigay policies.
All numbers are for capitol offices in area code (916); the second
number is a fax number.
Senator Kevin Murray (Chair), Culver City, 445-8800, 445-8899
Senator Tom McClintock (Vice Chair), Thousand Oaks, 445-8873, 324-7544
Senator James Brulte, Rancho Cucamonga, 445-3688, 327-2272
Senator Jim Costa, Bakersfield, 445-4641, 327-5989
Senator Joseph Dunn, Garden Grove, 445-5831, 323-2323
Senator Liz Figueroa, Fremont, 445-6671, 327-2433
Senator Betty Karnette, Long Beach, 445-6447, 327-9113
Senator Dick Monteith, Modesto, 445-1392
Senator Bill Morrow, San Juan Capistrano, 445-3731
Senator Don Perata, Oakland, 445-6577, 327-1997
Senator Gloria Romero, Monterey Park, 445-1418, 445-0485
Senator Jack Scott, Pasadena, 445-5976, 324-7543
Senator Nell Soto, Ontario, 445-6868
Senator Jackie Speier, San Mateo, 445-0503, 327-2186
Senator Tom Torlakson, Walnut Creek, 445-6083, 445-2527
The bill's text can be found at: www.sen.ca.gov.
For more information and updates, contact: Friends Committee on
Legislation of California, 916-443-3734, firstname.lastname@example.org,
or Committee Opposed to Militarism and the Draft, 619-265-1369,