Seventeen state legislators have proposed legislation that would require presidential candidates release their tax returns in order to appear on the ballot in that state. In Hawaii, Washington, Illinois and California such laws have already passed the state legislatures.
While there is no law currently requiring presidential candidates to release their tax returns, it has been common practice since the 1970’s, according to FOX News
“It increases the trust between the president and his country. If he doesn’t have anything to hide why not release them,” senior Nick Ehlmann said.
These proposals come after controversy surrounding President Donald Trump’s decision not to release his tax returns and to block his bank from complying with a subpoena issued by the House of Representatives for them.
“I don’t get how their tax returns should impact whether or not they are fit for the position. It should be based off of how their experience has led them to be a good leader for our country and people. If they are able to bring us together and help with current problems of the majority,” senior Morgan Talir said.
The California law would require any presidential candidate to release five adjacent years of their tax returns in order to appear on the primary ballot. The legislation, which passed the state senate 27 to 10, had a similar version passed in 2017, only to be vetoed by California governor Jerry Brown.
“We can all debate on the floor about the constitutionality of this bill, but we also have to look at what makes our democracy strong. The foundation of any successful government is transparency,” California state senator Mike McGuire said, according to Business Insider.
Numerous 2020 presidential candidates have released their tax returns already including Vermont senator Bernie Sanders; Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren; Washington governor Jay Inslee; South Bend, Indiana mayor Peter Buttidied and New York senator Kirsten Gillibrand.
“That’s private. Candidates should choose to [release their tax returns,]” sophomore Scotty Woodruff said.