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Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The California Senate voted to pass a bill on Thursday that would require presidential candidates to publicly share their tax returns from the past 5 years to appear on the primary ballots, the AP reports.

The big picture: This is part of a growing trend around the country where states are trying to pass similar bills to prevent President Trump from appearing on the 2020 ballot. Such proposals are also a response to Trump's refusal to release his tax returns.

The backdrop: California previously tried to pass a similar bill in 2017, but it was vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2007, concerned it could be considered unconstitutional, the AP reports. The state's current Gov. Gavin Newsom has recently called himself a "positive alternative," to Trump. His office, however, did not commit to signing this most recent bill. Illinois's state senate also passed a similar bill in April 2019. Already, many 2020 Democratic candidates have released their most recent returns.

Go deeper: Tax return bills could kick Trump off the ballot in some blue states

Go deeper

Updated 59 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: New coronavirus cases down, but more bad news ahead — Fighting COVID-19's effects on gender equality.
  2. Politics: Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategyBiden's COVID-19 bubble.
  3. Vaccine: NYC postpones vaccine appointments following shipment delays — Private companies step in to fill vaccine logistics vacuum.
  4. World: Biden will order U.S. to rejoin World Health OrganizationBiden to bring U.S. into global COVAX initiative for equitable vaccine access.
Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Congress grants waiver for retired Gen. Lloyd Austin to lead Pentagon

Defense Secretary nominee Lloyd Austin. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Both chambers of Congress on Thursday voted to grant retired Gen. Lloyd Austin a waiver to lead the Pentagon, clearing the path to confirmation for President Biden's nominee for defense secretary.

Why it matters: Austin's nomination received pushback from some lawmakers, including Democrats, who cited a law that requires officers be out of the military for at least seven years before taking the job — a statute intended to reinforce the tradition of civilian control of the Pentagon.

McConnell proposes February impeachment trial

Sen. Mitch McConnell Photo: Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is proposing that the impeachment trial of former President Trump begin in mid-February to allow for due process.

Why it matters: The impeachment trial is likely to grind other Senate business to a halt, including the confirmation process for President Biden's Cabinet nominees.