Gov. Jerry Brown (D-Calif.) vetoed legislation on Sunday designed to force President Donald Trump to release his tax returns, according to Politico.
What would the bill have done?
If it had been signed into law, California Senate Bill 149, the Presidential Tax Transparency and Accountability Act, would have required a presidential candidate to disclose the last five years of their tax returns in order to appear on the state ballot.
The bill was filed in response to Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns as a candidate for president.
The state’s Democratic-controlled legislature passed the bill last month.
What did Brown say about the bill?
In a veto message, Brown wrote that the bill could lead “to an ever escalating set of differing state requirements for presidential candidates.”
“While I recognize the political attractiveness – even the merits – of getting President Trump’s tax returns, I worry about the political perils of individual states seeking to regulate presidential elections in this manner,” Brown wrote. “First, it may not be constitutional. Second, it sets a ‘slippery slope’ precedent. Today we require tax returns, but what would be next? Five years of health records? A certified birth certificate? High school report cards? And will these requirements vary depending on which political party is in power?”
Politico noted that Brown, a fourth-term Democrat, did not release his own tax returns during his 2010 or 2014 campaigns despite a tradition of gubernatorial candidates in California making such disclosures.