On July 13 the California Assembly Elections Committee passed SB 149. It keeps candidates off the presidential primary ballots unless they release their federal income tax returns for the last five years. The bill had already passed the Senate. It now goes to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
Common Cause testified that the bill should be expanded to include gubernatorial candidates also, but that idea was not taken up by the committee. The vote was 4-2, with one abstention.
The bill has no effect on independent presidential candidates, nor on presidential candidates who are nominated by a ballot-qualified party but who had no involvement with the presidential primary in California.
It appears that California is the only state in which a bill forcing presidential candidates to reveal their tax returns, or suffer ballot access hurdles, will pass this year. The California Constitution requires that all presidential candidates that are mentioned in the news media must be put on presidential primary ballots automatically, unless they ask to have their names removed. Therefore it seems SB 149 violates the California Constitution.