Bills would re­quire WH hope­fuls to re­lease tax re­turns

Hawaii Tribune Herald - - PAGE TWO -

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.

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