Calif. Sen. Bill 1276, Selective Service's third attempt to force
young men in California to register for the draft in order to qualify
for a driver's license or Dept. of Motor Vehicle-issued i.d. card,
was held back by the Senate Appropriations Committee. This effectively
killed the proposal for the current legislative session.
Before being submitted to the appropriations committee, the bill
was amended by the transportation committee to remove the automatic
registration component, leaving draft registration only as an option
that could be selected by license and i.d. applicants (a stern warning
about the penalties for not registering would also have been included
in application forms). Even changing the bill to make registration
merely an "opt-in" choice did not give it enough momentum,
however, to survive the finance committee, where the estimated cost
of the proposal for the first two years was set at $594,000 (with
up to $20,000 reimbursable by federal funds).
A similar "opt-in" amendment to a recent automatic registration
proposal in New Hampshire allowed the bill to get through that state's
legislature. Selective Service was claiming victory there, even
though the agency has said that it opposes bills that would only
make draft registration optional.
Opposition to the California bill came from COMD (San Diego), Friends
Committee on Legislation-California (Sacramento), Center on Conscience
and War (DC) and Resource Center on Nonviolence (Santa Cruz), with
the regional Auto Club offices of Northern and Southern California
voicing opposition to any expenditure of state transportation funds
for the draft registration proposal. Phone calls, faxes and letters
from individuals were also extremely important.
This third defeat in California probably won't stop Selective Service
from trying again in the next legislative session, but for now,
anti-draft activists can celebrate!
Committee Opposed to Militarism and the Draft (COMD)
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,