Setting the stage for another California vs. Trump showdown, state lawmakers have passed a bill that would require all candidates for president to disclose five years worth of tax returns in order to be eligible for inclusion in a state primary.
The measure, SB27, now heads for Governor Gavin Newsom's signature, and it's not yet known if he will sign the bill into law. As the Chronicle notes, Governor Jerry Brown vetoed a similar measure two years ago, suggesting that it might not be constitutional — although Brown himself had declined to share tax returns in two of his recent elections. Newsom disclosed six years worth of returns when he ran for governor.
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It's called the "Presidential Tax Transparency and Accountability Act” and it passed both chambers of the state house in party line votes, as the Sacramento Bee reports.
While the Supreme Court has ruled that states create requirements for running for federal office beyond what is in the Constitution, states are allowed to create "reasonable conditions for ballot access," per the Chronicle. States are legally seen as having administrative control over ballots.
Sen. Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg) sponsored the bill, and he asks the paper, "What does President Trump have to hide?"
Tim Murtaugh, director of communications for Trump’s 2020 campaign, issued a statement to the Sac Bee saying, "The Constitution is clear on the qualifications for someone to serve as president and states cannot add additional requirements on their own. The bill also violates the 1st Amendment right of association since California can’t tell political parties which candidates their members can or cannot vote for in a primary election."
Photo: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia