States push can­di­date tax-re­turn bills

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NATIONAL -

HONOLULU — 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 to not 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, New Mex­ico and the Dis­trict of Columbia.

“It’s a rea­son­able step since ev­ery mod­ern pres­i­dent has re­leased their tax re­turns and put their as­sets into a blind trust to make sure the only in­ter­est they have is the in­ter­est of our coun­try and its peo­ple,” Lee said. “I think we’re in a very dan­ger­ous cli­mate in which that could change.”

AP/CATHY BUSSEWITZ

Hawaii state Rep. Chris Lee dis­cusses his bill to re­quire pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates to re­lease their tax re­turns be­fore they can be on the bal­lot in his state.

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