Press release from the Office of state Sen. Mike McGuire:
Transparency is a nonpartisan issue. And it’s transparency that provides the basis for accountability in government. For the past forty years, every US President - Republicans and Democrats alike - has released their tax returns. That is, until President Trump took office.
In response, California State Senators Mike McGuire and Scott Wiener reintroduced legislation this year that would require all presidential candidates to release their tax returns prior to being placed on the California ballot. That bill, SB 27, was approved yesterday in the State Senate with a vote of 27 to 10.
“Presidents are expected to put their own interests aside for the greater good of our country and that greater good is America’s security and the protection of its people,” Senator Mike McGuire (D-North Coast) said. “Voters deserve to know, for example, if the President is putting America’s security at risk through his tangled web of business dealings with corporate interests and his dealings with foreign governments and foreign banks. The vast majority of Americans believe the President should release his tax returns and we will continue to work hard to pass this common sense legislation.”
The Presidential Tax Transparency & Accountability Act will require basic tax information to be shared with the California public and require that all presidential candidates release the last five 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.
“The President’s refusal to share his tax returns with the American people goes against longstanding transparency norms and undermines the trust between government and those it serves,” said Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), who is a joint author of SB 27. “We deserve to know that the President is in fact acting for the good of the people and not in his own monetary self-interest.”
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 President Trump’s statements in public that Americans don’t care about his tax returns, recent polls have shown that 63 percent of Americans believe Trump’s tax returns should be released.
Included in this year’s Presidential Tax Transparency bill is an urgency clause so the legislation would take effect immediately, prior to the filing deadline for 2020 Presidential candidates.
SB 27 is endorsed by California Secretary of State Alex Padilla. Now approved in the Senate, the bill will move to the State Assembly for approval.