TRENTON, N.J. — Remember that legislation we told you about, Save Jerseyans, which would effectively bar Donald Trump from the 2020 ballot in New Jersey if he once again declines to disclose his tax returns? It’s reportedly slated for a floor vote in the State Senate TODAY (Thursday, February 21st).
If passed by the full legislature and signed into law by Governor Murphy, all candidates for U.S. President or Vice President would need to release their tax returns as condition of appearing on New Jersey’s ballot; the proposed law also bars the state’s Electoral College electors from voting for any candidate who fails to comply.
The Democrat-backed legislation is a not-so-thinly-veiled attack on President Donald Trump, but it’s also one which would immediately come under constitution scrutiny and legal attack upon coming law.
Here’s the bill’s official statement:
This bill requires candidates for President and Vice-President of the United States to submit their federal income tax returns to the Division of Elections in the Department of State for at least the five most recent taxable years for which the candidate has filed such a return with the Internal Revenue Service. Under the bill, each candidate would also submit written consent to the division for the public disclosure of the income tax returns. The bill requires a candidate for President or Vice-President of the United States to file the income tax returns and written consent for disclosure with the division no later than 50 days before the general election. The division would then post the income tax returns on its Internet website no later than seven days after the candidate has filed the income tax returns with the division. The bill requires the division, in consultation with the Attorney General, to redact any information contained in the income tax returns that the division deems necessary before the division posts the income tax returns on its website. Additionally, the bill provides that an elector cannot vote for a candidate for President or Vice-President unless the candidate submits federal income tax returns to the division in accordance with the provisions of the bill.
A Republican state senator — Joe Pennacchio of Morris County — wants to amend the legislation to include ALL candidates for state office including governor, state senate and the assembly, too.
“New Jersey Democrats are claiming that this legislation is about transparency, well what’s good for the goose is what’s good for the gander,” said Pennacchio (R-26). “If this really is about making sure voters are well-informed, then commonsense dictates that S-119 should apply to all of us as well. I would vote ‘yes’ if the Senate accepts my proposal to change the bill so that it also applies to all 120 State legislative offices and candidates for Governor.”
Want to let your state senator know how you feel about this bill?