Trenton – Legislation sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, Senator Shirley K. Turner, Senator Linda R. Greenstein and Senator Troy Singleton, which would require candidates for President and Vice President to disclose their federal income tax returns in order to appear on the ballot, cleared the Senate today.
“There are two reasons tax disclosure should be mandatory for the Presidential ticket,” said Senator Weinberg (D-Bergen). “The first, voters deserve to know that every candidate on the ballot is without compromise. They must know, unequivocally, that the person they vote for is invulnerable to blackmail, coercion or intimidation of any kind due to financial liabilities.
“The second, we have the right to know that no action taken by an administration is motivated by personal financial gain, as opposed to the good of the republic. This transparency is common sense, which is why it has been the norm for so many decades. It’s clear now, however, it’s time to make this norm a law, at least in New Jersey.”
The bill would require 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. It would also require a candidate to file the income tax returns and written consent for public disclosure with the division no later than 50 days before the general election.
“Every voter deserves to know if President Trump is in violation of the emoluments clause,” said Senator Turner (D-Hunterdon/Mercer). “Prior to 2016, every presidential candidate in recent history has disclosed their tax returns, that’s because it is crucial to making an informed decision in the voting booth.”
“With the amount of power a president has, it is only reasonable to require full financial disclosure,” said Senator Greenstein. “We deserve to know that the highest office in our land is clear of corruption.”
“The norms we have had in place for decades are no longer being followed, therefore it is incumbent upon us to take action,” said Senator Singleton (D-Burlington). “New Jersey and multiple other states will soon require Presidential candidates and their running mates to release their tax returns if they wish to appear on voting ballots come Election Day. We have to do everything in our power to ensure transparency and full disclosure from those who are seeking the highest elected office in our great nation.”
The bill passed the full Senate today by a vote of 23-11.