The Legislature on Thursday passed a bill that will require President Trump to publicly release his tax returns prior to the 2020 election if he wants to be on the ballot in California. The bill will next go to Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom, and he has signaled that it will get his signature.
The measure by Democratic state Senator Mike McGuire from Healdsburg is called the "Presidential Tax Transparency and Accountablity Act" and it was approved in the Assembly and the Senate along party lines. Democrats are saying it will provide voters with financial information they need from candidates, but Republicans insist it's not constitutional.
If signed into law the act would require that all candidates, including President Trump, provide to the California secretary of state the past five years of their tax returns to qualify for the primary ballot. That information would then be posted on a website minus personal information like Social Security numbers.
A similar bill was vetoed by former Governor Jerry Brown two years ago with a warning that it might not pass the constitutionality test. Brown also refused to go public with tax returns at the time, but Governor Newsom has released his returns.
McGuire is insistent that the bill is constitutional, but the director of communications for Trump's 2020 campaign, Tim Murtaugh, told the Sacramento Bee, "(the) Constitution is clear on the qualifications for someone to serve as president and states cannot add additional requirements on their own."
If the act becomes law it would make California the first state do so.