President Donald Trump has resisted all calls to release his tax returns, but should he decide to run for re-election in 2020, he may not have a choice in the matter.
The California State Assembly has passed a bill requiring all presidential candidates to release their tax returns for the previous five years. Those who refuse won’t be put on the state’s ballot.
Called the Presidential Tax Transparency and Accountability Act, the bill (which was passed by the Assembly on Thursday) now goes to the state Senate for a vote and, if it passes, heads to Governor Jerry Brown for his signature.
“For decades, every President has put their personal beliefs aside and put our country first and released their returns,” said Sen. Mike McGuire, one of the authors of the bill. “SB 149 helps to reestablish desperately needed transparency in the White House.”
Earlier this year, New York lawmakers introduced similar legislation — the Tax Returns Uniformly Made Public Act, or TRUMP Act for short. That bill is currently still in committee.
Trump’s taxes have been a contentious issue since his candidacy. He has resisted all calls to disclose them, leading to both Congressional efforts and petitions, which have had little impact. As other issues have come up since he took office, though, interest in seeing the documents has waned among voters.