State Sen. Mike McGuire’s bill that would require presidential candidates to disclose their five most recent years of tax returns in order to appear on California’s primary election ballot cleared another legislative milestone this week and picked up a key endorsement.
The bill from McGuire, D-Healdsburg, advanced from its last legislative policy committee Wednesday and could go before the full state Assembly within the next two months. California Secretary of State Alex Padilla has also announced his support of the bill, which the Senate has already passed.
Lawmakers are pushing the bill, which joins similar efforts across the country, in response to President Donald Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns during the 2016 campaign. Every president since Jimmy Carter has voluntarily released at least three years of tax returns, according to the Tax History Project.
Padilla said the bill, co-authored by state Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, was a crucial transparency measure that would help the public make informed decisions.
“Voters and the press should not be left in the dark about a candidate’s potential conflicts of interest,” Padilla said in the statement.