NJ Politics Digest: Dems Move to Force Trump Tax Disclosure to Remain on State Ballot

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President Donald Trump has refused to release his tax records. A bill approved by the New Jersey State Senate seeks to change that. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Democratic-controlled state Senate on Thursday approved legislation that would bar President Donald Trump from the state ballot in 2020 if he does not disclose his tax returns.
The bill is similar to one approved in 2017 but it was vetoed by former Gov. Chris Christie, one of Trump’s most outspoken supporters.

With Democrat Phil Murphy now governor and his party controlling both houses of the state legislature, it’s likely the bill will be the first such measure approved in the nation.

Democrats in states across the country have looked to such a law to force Trump, who has bucked recent tradition and refused to disclose his tax records, to make them public.

Supporters of such plans say they would help highlight any potential conflicts of interest that might preclude a candidate from serving in the nation’s highest office. But critics contend that such laws aren’t only illegal, they also could set a precedent that will have states adding all types of requirements for candidates seeking a ballot position.

The Record reports that when the plan was considered in 2017, Republican state Sen. Joe Pennacchio proposed amendments that would have the rules also apply to state elected officials—a move that Democrats defeated.

Quote of the Day: “It is so obvious with this president that had voters known some of what seem to be his business interests, he may not have been elected president,” — State Sen. Loretta Weinberg, sponsor of the bill to bar presidential candidates who don’t release their tax returns from the New Jersey ballot.

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