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2020 candidates must release tax returns to appear on California primary ballot. Photo: Chen Mengtong/China News Service/VCG/Getty Images

California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law on Tuesday requiring all presidential and gubernatorial candidates to release their 5 most recent years' worth of tax returns in order to appear on the state's primary ballot.

Why it matters: The move makes California the first state to demand the disclosure from candidates, according to reporter Yashar Ali. If a contender refuses, they will not be included on the primary ballot. The law was passed in hopes of pressuring President Trump to make his filings public — a battle House Democrats and other states have thus far failed to win.

The law will not impact a candidate's ability to be listed on the ballot in the general election.

The big picture: Trump could continue to avoid sharing his personal finances by opting out of the California primary next March.

  • The AP writes: "[H]e likely won’t need California’s delegates to win the Republican nomination." Currently, former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld is Trump's only GOP challenger.
  • Already, 10 2020 Democrats have provided their tax disclosures.

Reality check: Trump only won 31.5% of the votes in California in the 2016 election. He is unlikely to win the left-leaning state in the 2020 general election regardless of the new law.

What's next: The law is expected to be challenged in court. The president's personal attorney Jay Sekulow wrote, "the State of California’s attempt to circumvent the Constitution will be answered in court," per Politico.

Go deeper

"Atmospheric river" to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood

A map depicting 24-hour preciptation forecast (inches) ending Monday at 5a.m. local time. Photo: NOAA

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are set dump historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest from this weekend, forecasters warn.

Why it matters: A strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is predicted to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood.

10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves to be removed after fires

A firefighter looks up at a giant sequoia tree after fire burned through the Sequoia National Forest near California Hot Springs, California, on Sept. 23. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

"Upwards of" 10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves have been "weakened by drought, disease, age, and/or fire" and must be removed in the wake of California's wildfires, the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks announced.

Why it matters: The damage to these trees, considered "national treasures," and work to remove them means a nearby key highway must remain closed to visitors as they have "the potential to strike people, cars, other structures, or create barriers to emergency response services," per a statement from the national parks.

Obama stumps for McAuliffe, urges Virginians not "to go back to the chaos"

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama framed a Nov. 2 gubernatorial race as a bellwether for the Democratic Party and the country, telling a crowd at a campaign event for Terry McAuliffe on Saturday that "I believe you, right here in Virginia, are going to show the rest of the country and the world that we're not going to indulge in our worst instincts."

Why it matters: With just over a week to go before Election Day in the Commonwealth, McAuliffe is bringing out the big guns. The 44th president appeared on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University to urge supporters to get to the polls.