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Democratic Lawmakers Plan Bill Requiring Presidential Candidates To Release Tax Returns

Wisconsin 1 Of 23 States To Introduce Such Legislation Since 2016 Election

Wisconsin State Capitol
Joseph (CC-BY-NC-SA)

Two Democratic state lawmakers are introducing a bill that would require presidential candidates on the Wisconsin ballot to release their tax returns.

Under the measure from Green Bay state Sen. Dave Hansen and Milwaukee state Rep. David Crowley, all presidential and vice presidential candidates running in the primary or general election would submit their tax returns for the three most recent years to the Wisconsin Elections Commission. The commission would then be required to post the tax returns to its website within 48 hours.

The legislation comes after President Donald Trump broke with decades of tradition by refusing to release his tax returns during his White House campaign. Still, Crowley told Wisconsin Public Radio on Monday that he doesn’t consider it a partisan issue.

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“We haven’t heard too much from our Republican colleagues on this,” Crowley said. “Yes, this is in response to a Republican, newly elected president, but I think that he’s set a precedent for us to say, ‘You know what, we need all the information that’s possible.’”

The lawmakers are circulating the bill Friday for co-sponsorship with plans to introduce it to the Legislature by Tuesday, April 4.

The bill would apply to the 2020 presidential election. At least 23 states across the country have introduced similar legislation since the 2016 presidential election, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.