The California State Assembly on Thursday passed a law that would require all presidential candidates to give up their tax returns prior to getting on the state’s ballot.
The bill, which is called the Presidential Tax Tra
nsparency and Accountability Act, easily passed the state assembly on a 42-18 vote and will now go to the state Senate for a concurrence vote before being given to the Governor for his signature.
“President Trump’s blatant disregard for the tradition of releasing tax returns is dangerous to our democracy,” Senator Mike McGuire (D), one of the authors of the bill, stated. “For decades, every President has put their personal beliefs aside and put our country first and released their returns. “
“SB 149 helps to reestablish desperately needed transparency in the White House, and we are looking forward to seeing the Governor’s signature on the bill.”
The bill would make all presidential candidates release the last five years of their tax returns if they are to appear on the California ballot.
The tax returns would be made publicly available on the California Secretary of State’s website.
Senator Scott Wiener (D), another author of the law, said the bill is about “giving the American people the honesty and transparency they deserve.”
“As the months continue to go by in the disastrous Trump Administration and the investigations and conflicts of interest pile up, it becomes more and more clear how critical basic transparency is in how we elect our president,” he stated.
Earlier this year, a New York state lawmaker put forward a similar bill that would force the state to post publicly the state tax returns of anybody elected in a statewide election to a federal or state office.
Trump was the first presidential candidate in decades to not release his tax returns. He lied during the campaign by saying that he wouldn’t release them because of an IRS audit, but the IRS has explained that audits don’t prevent people from releasing their own tax information.