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Thu Jan 12, 2017, 09:49 AM

States Working On Bills Demanding Presidential Candidates Release Tax Information

Lawmakers in Hawaii and other states are working on legislations that would prevent presidential candidates from appearing on their states’ ballots unless the candidates release their tax returns. The move is a response to President-elect Donald Trump — who refrained from releasing his tax information during the 2016 election race — breaking away from a tradition spanning decades.

The Hawaii bill would make it mandatory for a candidate to release five years of federal and state tax returns in order to appear on the state’s ballot, Rep. Chris Lee said Wednesday.

“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 reportedly said. “I think we’re in a very dangerous climate in which that could change.”

If the bill passes, it will be scrutinized by the state attorney general undergoing a thorough review before it becomes law, Lee said, adding that he had consulted lawyers who assured him that the bill was legal. Lee is looking to include a provision in the bill — still under construction — which would allow for the tax returns to be made public.


Massachusetts is also considering a legislation similar to Hawaii’s.

In California, two state senators are working on a similar bill.


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