Illinois Senate Democrats approved a bill that would require all presidential candidates to release their tax returns in order to appear on the state’s general election ballot, CNN reports.
The Illinois Senate voted 36-19 to approve Senate Bill 145 as Democrats push to force President Donald Trump to release his tax returns ahead of the 2020 election. The bill requires all presidential and vice presidential candidates to release the latest five years of their tax returns.
"Voters have a right to know a presidential candidate's conflicts of interests," bill sponsor Sen. Antonio Muñoz said in a statement. "They have reasonably expected this disclosure for decades, and if candidates won't release the information willingly, then we need a law in place that requires it."
The bill will now move to the state House, where the Democratic majority is expected to approve the bill as well. Democratic Governor J.B. Pritzker has not publicly said whether he would sign it.
Trump has repeatedly claimed that he would not release his taxes because he is “under audit,” though an audit would not preclude him from releasing the tax returns and it’s a dubious idea that he cannot release any of his returns even if some years are, in fact, under audit.
He is the first president in over 40 years not to publicly release his tax returns.
New York Democrats target Trump tax returns too:
New York state lawmakers approved a bill earlier this week to authorize the state’s tax commissioner to release state tax returns to Congress upon request, CNN reported.
“Though the legislation would only enable the release of the President's state returns, the fact that much of the President's business has been conducted in New York means that such returns could be nearly as telling as his federal returns,” the outlet reported.
The bill’s sponsor, State Senator Brad Hoylman, is also pushing for a bill that would require Trump to release his tax returns to appear on the state’s ballot in 2020.
Congressional Dems ramp up legal threat over Trump’s tax returns:
The US House Ways and Means Committee has requested Trump’s tax returns under a nearly century-old law that requires the IRS to release the return of any individual to the panel. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told the committee Wednesday that he would not be able to provide the tax returns by the April 10 deadline set by panel Chairman Richard Neal.
New Jersey Democrat Bill Pascrell, a senior member of the committee, told Politico that he wants the panel to consider holding Mnuchin in contempt of Congress.
“I want to take a look at contempt of Congress here,” Pascrell said, “because the way Mnuchin talked and the way he writes, he’s very dismissive of the legislative branch of government, particularly if that part of the legislative branch of government is controlled by the Democratic Party.”
Pascrell added that IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig should resign if he does not provide the tax returns.
“Richie [Neal] made a request in narrow fashion, correctly, to the IRS commissioner,” Pascrell said. “Now that IRS commissioner must stand up for America, or maybe he should leave his job if he can’t.”