New York state Democratic lawmakers have introduced legislation in both chambers that would require the state to release the last five years of any president or vice president’s state tax records.
Given that limited criteria, here’s only one person that such a bill, if signed into law, would affect — President Donald Trump.
— World News Tonight (@ABCWorldNews) April 30, 2017
Although New York state tax returns would lack the details of Trump’s federal records, it would nonetheless offer a glimpse into his possible conflicts of interest, The Associated Press reported.
Democrats in more than two dozen states — including New York — have introduced legislation that would require presidential candidates to release their federal tax returns as a prerequisite to appear on the state ballot. This is the first that would require one to release his state documentation.
Sen. Brad Hoylman, a Democrat representing a Manhattan district, said that New York “is in a unique position to change the national conversation,” according to The AP.
“This is drawing a line in the sand: Are you for transparency or not?” Hoylman said. “This is an issue of national security.”
Although the bill is likely to pass in the Assembly, the Senate is another story altogether.
The AP reported:
The New York legislation would face better odds if not for the state Senate’s odd partisan dynamics. The 63-seat chamber is now evenly split between Democrats and Republicans, with one vacant seat that’s expected to go Democratic in an upcoming special election. But Republicans are in control thanks to the support of several Democrats, known as the Independent Democrats, who broke ranks with their party to empower the GOP.
“This sounds like a P.R. stunt,” said Scott Reif, a spokesman for the Senate GOP.
The requirement to release state tax information would also apply to the state’s two U.S. senators and senior state officials, such as governor and attorney general.
Trump has stated all along that upon the advice of counsel, he shouldn’t release his returns while they are being audited.
Although the release of tax returns has become customary in modern-day presidential elections — since former President Jimmy Carter’s 1976 campaign — candidates are not required to do so by law and the information they contain is considered confidential.
MSNBC host Rachel Maddow ended up with egg on her face in March for breathlessly announcing she had the president’s returns. But when disclosure time came, the return lacked all the schedules, was years old and revealed that he made a lot of money and paid a lot of taxes.
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