Illinois state senators have advanced a bill that would have removed President Donald Trump from the ballot in Illinois if it were law last year.
The sponsor, State Sen. Daniel Biss, D-Evanston, says his legislation would require any presidential candidate wishing to appear on Illinois’ ballot to disclose the previous five years of tax returns to the Illinois Secretary of State’s office, who would then make them public.
“I think this gives the voters the ability to evaluate the candidates standing before them for the most powerful office in the history of the world,” he said.
Trump declined to disclose his tax information, saying he was under audit.
State Sen. Melinda Bush, D-Grayslake, says people have a right to know this information.
“Seeing someone who’s running for president’s tax return is something we expect,” she said.
But state Sen. Tom Rooney, R-Palatine, says the bill is likely unconstitutional because states can’t impose restrictions on candidates for a job in Washington D.C.
“States cannot make any qualifications for people to get on a federal ballot other than those specified in the constitution,” he said. Rooney likened it to a restriction such as imposing term limits on a local member of Congress.
“This is not serious,” said Sen. Kyle McCarter, R-Lebanon. “This is politicking.”
The measure was a clear shot at the Republican president even though Illinois gives all of its electoral votes to the winner of the state’s popular vote, which has been a Democrat since 1988.