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Automatic Draft Registration Bill Stopped in California!!

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)
San Diego


The bill's text can be found at:

For more information and updates, contact: Friends Committee on Legislation of California, 916-443-3734,, or Committee Opposed to Militarism and the Draft, 619-265-1369,

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