State Sen. McGuire (left) and a person who would be affected by this legislation.

Want to appear on a California ballot, would-be presidential candidate? If Jerry Brown signs this bill, you’re going to have to show us your tax returns first.

From the office of State Sen. Mike McGuire:

Senators Mike McGuire and Scott Wiener’s Presidential Tax Transparency Bill that would require all presidential primary candidates to release their tax returns prior to being placed on the California ballot passed the State Assembly today [yesterday — Ed.],  heading back for a concurrence vote in the Senate and then will be on its way to the Governor’s desk.

California’s Secretary of State Alex Padilla has also endorsed the transparency bill.

“President Trump’s blatant disregard for the tradition of releasing tax returns is dangerous to our democracy,” Senator Mike McGuire said. “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.”
SB 149 – the Presidential Tax Transparency & Accountability Act – will require basic tax information to be shared with the American public and require that all presidential candidates release the last 5 years of their tax returns in order to appear on the California ballot. The returns would also be made available to the public on the Secretary of State’s website.

After President Trump’s election and potential conflicts of interest became apparent, legislators in California and several other states across the country moved forward with similar legislation mandating the release of tax returns — but so far California is the closest to seeing the bill become law. 

“This bill is about giving the American people the honesty and transparency they deserve from anyone who wishes to serve as their President,” said Senator Wiener. “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. I’m proud to be partnering with Senator McGuire on this bill to restore and strengthen the trust between American voters and future Presidents.”

Prior to Donald Trump’s refusal to release any tax returns, every president since Jimmy Carter (over 40 years) has 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 Trump has stated in public that Americans don’t care about his tax returns, 74 percent of respondents in national polls on the issue believe President Trump should release his tax returns.

The bill passed the State Assembly today on a 42-18 vote. The bill was presented on the Assembly Floor by Assemblymember Santiago.