NJ lawmakers who demanded Trump tax returns won’t show theirs
TRENTON — Remember when New Jersey lawmakers voted for a law that would have kept President Donald Trump off the 2020 ballot unless he revealed his tax returns?
Well, almost all of them are not willing to return the favor.
The chain of newspapers that owns the Asbury Park Press and the North Jersey Record asked all of New Jersey's 40 senators and 80 assemblymen for copies of their tax returns.
Earlier this year, the state Senate voted 23-11 to require candidates for president and vice president to disclose five years of federal tax returns. The vote fell mostly along party lines except for Republican Christopher "Kip" Bateman who voted yes and Democrat Bob Andrzejczak who voted against it.
The Assembly has not acted on the bill. A version of it, however, was passed by the Legislature in 2017 but vetoed by then-Gov. Chris Christie.
Before February's vote, state Sen. Joseph Pennacchio, R-Morris, tried to amend the bill, which he opposed, to also make it apply to the state lawmakers who were voting for it. His colleagues didn't go along.
“Legislation like this puts us on a very slippery slope," Pennacchio said at the time. "Partisan politics should not pick who can and cannot run in this state. Elections will be decided even before the people get a chance to vote."
Trump became the first president in 40 years to not reveal his tax returns before the election.
The Gannett report noted that tax returns "can provide the public more detailed information about a legislator's finances, including adjusted gross income, tax rate or how much they give to charity, than what lawmakers are currently required to disclose."
Lawmakers' archived financial disclosure forms are available on the Legislature's website.
Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.