Washington State has the opportunity to strike a blow for transparency and open government. This news makes me so proud to be a Washingtonian.
Washington state passes bill mandating political candidates release tax returns in order to appear on ballot
A proposal inspired by President Donald Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns advanced Tuesday in Washington state. A bill in the state Legislature would require candidates to release five years of returns before they could appear on either the primary or general election ballot in the state.
Senators approved the bill on a 28-21 vote Tuesday, sending it to the House.
“Although releasing tax returns has been the norm for about the last 40 years in presidential elections, unfortunately we’ve seen that norm broken,” said bill sponsor Sen. Patty Kuderer, a Bellevue Democrat, during debate Tuesday. Kuderer later confirmed she was referring to Trump.
How a candidate has handled their own financial affairs and personal investments are relevant details for voters choosing a commander-in-chief, Kuderer added.
“It’s become part of the vetting process,” Kuderer said later.
Kuderer’s proposal would apply only to candidates for president and vice president.
I have a feeling that Governor Inslee would sign this into law too.
At least 25 states have proposed similar bills in recent years according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, spurring wide debate over whether states have the Constitutional authority to make such rules.
Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson issued an advisory letter that included this “The disclosure requirement you propose is likely Constitutional.”
The Senate vote was along party lines. Democrats hold solid control of the state House 57 to 41.
If you live here in Washington and you wish to leave a message for your state Representative, call the Legislative HOTLINE at 1-800-562-6000. Or email: app.leg.wa.gov/…