Bills would require WH hopefuls to release tax returns
HONOLULU (AP) — Lawmakers in Hawaii and several other states want to prevent presidential candidates from appearing on their states’ ballots unless the candidates release their tax returns.
They’re responding to President-elect Donald Trump’s decision not to release his tax returns during the presidential campaign, breaking decades of precedent.
The Hawaii bill would require candidates to release five years of federal and state tax returns to qualify for the ballot, state Rep. Chris Lee said Wednesday. Similar proposals are circulating in California, Massachusetts and New Mexico.
Lee consulted with lawyers who assured him it’s legal, and if the bill passes it will undergo a thorough review from the state attorney general, he said.
Lee is still working out details on the Hawaii bill, but he plans to include a way to make the tax returns public. In the Massachusetts bill, that state’s Secretary of State would be required to make the tax returns public within a month of each vote.
California state Sens. Scott Wiener and Mike McGuire are planning to introduce similar legislation.