In response to President-Elect Donald Trump’s unprecedented refusal to share basic information with American public, new bill will require that all presidential candidates release tax returns in order to appear on California ballot
Sacramento – Today California State Senators Scott Wiener and Mike McGuire officially introduced their legislation which would require that any future presidential or vice-presidential candidate must make their tax returns public to appear on the California ballot. The two Senators are offering the legislation in response to President-Elect Donald Trump’s historic refusal to release his tax returns to the American public, despite the fact that presidential candidates have been doing so voluntarily for decades. The bill, SB 149 is modeled on similar legislation that has been proposed in New York by State Senator Brad Hoylman.
“California voters have rightfully come to expect that their future President will be transparent and without hesitation, disclose their tax returns,” Senator Mike McGuire said. “These returns are one of the best tools California voters have to weigh any potential conflicts of interests their future leader has encumbered. California didn’t pick this fight, but we will respond to this unprecedented action and secrecy and ensure voters have the information they need to make the most important choice they have – voting for President.”
“Donald Trump claims that no one besides the media cares about the transparency and accountability that comes with the release of tax returns. That’s not true. I care, and my constituents care. The people of California deserve to have confidence that when they step into the voting booth, they are electing a leader who will act in their best interests, not the best interests of some investment portfolio. Transparency and accountability shouldn’t be dismissed as a distraction – they are bedrocks and basic requirements of our democracy,” Senator Scott Wiener said.
SB 149 is simple in structure: The proposed law will require a candidate for President, in order to have his or her name placed upon the general election ballot, to file his or her income tax returns for the 5 most recent taxable years with the Secretary of State at least 70 days before that election. The returns would also be made available to the public on the Secretary of State’s website.
Prior to Donald Trump’s refusal to release any tax returns, every president since Jimmy Carter (over 40 years) have released at least one year of tax returns. During the 2016 Presidential election, Hillary Clinton (Democratic) and Jill Stein (Green) both released their tax returns.
Contrary to what President-Elect Trump has stated in public, that Americans don’t care about his tax returns, according to a new ABC News/Washington Post poll, 74 percent of respondents believe President-Elect Trump should release his tax returns. This poll shows consistent results from an earlier poll conducted by Quinnipiac University back in August of 2016.
Video clips of Senators Wiener and McGuire discussing SB 149 can be found accessed here.