California Lawmakers: Release Tax Returns or Be Left off Primary Ballot


On Thursday, the California State Senate approved legislation that would require Presidential candidates and candidates for the Governor of California, to release their tax returns in order to be on the states primary ballot.

Senate Bill 27 passed the Senate in a 29-10 vote. On Monday, the bill passed the State Assembly in a 57-17 vote.

The Bill was authored by State Senators Scott Wiener and Mike McGuire who in May amended the bill to include the transparency rules for the Office of the California Governor after Jerry Brown declined to release his own tax returns.

In May, McGuire and Wiener amended the legislation to extend the transparency rules to the office of the Governor of California as well as Presidential candidates.

The Presidential Tax Transparency & Accountability Act will require basic tax information to be shared with California residents and require that all presidential candidates, and candidates for the Governor, release the last five years of their tax returns in order to appear on the California ballot. The returns will be made available to the public on the Secretary of State’s website.

“Voters should have confidence that their President is in fact working for them and not to enrich himself or herself,” said Senator Wiener (D-San Francisco) joint author of SB 27. “Making a candidate’s tax returns public gives voters that confidence and builds trust. By also including the office of the Governor in this legislation, we show that we will hold our own executive to this vital standard.”

“The people are on our side, over 60% of Americans want President Trump to release his returns,” Senator McGuire 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. Here’s the bottom line: What does he have to hide?”

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.

In 2017, Governor Jerry Brown vetoed a nearly identical bill saying the bill might not even be constitutional and called it a slippery slope.


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