States push candidate tax-return bills
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.”
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.