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More than Half the States Support Selective Service Registration; Idaho Becomes Number 26

March 26, 1999–Idaho became the 26th state to enact legislation supporting the Selective Service registration requirement. This means that more than half the states now have laws reinforcing the federal law which requires young men to register when they turn 18. Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne signed Idaho House Bill 213 on March 26, 1999. The law will go into effect on July 1, 1999.

Virtually all men must register with Selective Service within 30 days of turning 18. Although the last draft ended in 1973, registration has been ongoing since 1980 so America remains prepared to conduct a fair and equitable draft in a crisis, if needed.

Congress has linked many federal benefits to the registration requirement. For example, a man must be registered to be eligible for federal student loans and Pell grants, job training programs under the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA), and federal jobs in the Executive Branch of the government, including jobs with the U.S. Postal Service. Male immigrants who fail to register as required cannot obtain U.S. citizenship. Late registrations are accepted, but a man cannot register after reaching age 26.

In recent years, many states enacted laws that mirror the federal statute. The Idaho law requires men to be registered with Selective Service before they are considered eligible for state student financial assistance or jobs in state government. It also prohibits non-registrants from enrolling in state colleges and universities.

"More than half the states now have legislation supporting Selective Service registration," notes the Hon. Gil Coronado, Director of Selective Service. "Nationally, on-time registration rates have declined slightly over the past two years. With states like Idaho passing this type of legislation, I’m convinced the downward trend can be reversed," Coronado added.

The other states that have laws supporting Selective Service registration are: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Virginia. West Virginia’s legislature has passed a similar bill that has not yet been signed into law by the governor.

The Idaho bill was sponsored by State Rep. Max C. Black, (R- District 15, Boise) and Senator Robert L. Geddes, (R- District 32, Soda Springs), whose efforts were key in defeating an attempt to reconsider the bill. Black steered HB 213 through a gamut of committee hearings in both chambers of the Idaho legislature before winning passage in both the House and the Senate. The bill also generated strong support from veterans groups within the state.

"This is a great way to increase on-time registrations in this state," noted retired Idaho Air National Guard Maj. Gen. Darrell V. Manning, State Director of Selective Service for Idaho. "It also reminds today’s young men they are obligated to fulfill a civic responsibility, as so many generations before them have done.



Last Updated August 25, 2009
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