By:  David Thornton

Donald Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns was a controversial issue for many during the election. Now some blue state legislators are proposing a “TRUMP” law for ballot access in future elections. A proposed law in New York is actually named the “Tax Returns Uniformly Made Public” Act, the TRUMP Act for short.

According to the Washington Post, lawmakers in California, New York, Maryland, Massachusetts and Maine will introduce bills that require candidates to release their tax returns to appear on ballots in their states. The proposal is obviously directed at President-elect Donald Trump, who said in 2014 that he would release his tax returns if he ran for president, but failed to do so during the campaign.

Although not required, presidential candidates have long released their tax returns to show that they had nothing to hide. The tradition goes back to George Romney, Mitt Romney’s father, who ran unsuccessfully for president in 1968.

At issue is whether to codify the tradition or let the voters decide how much weight to place on whether a candidate releases tax information or not. “We all expected anyone who is going to be in front of the public and lead our nation would be transparent,” said Maryland Sen. Paul G. Pinsky (D-Prince George’s County) in the Post. “He chose not to be, and we want to make sure that doesn’t happen again in the future from any candidate.”

Senate Minority Leader J.B. Jennings (R-Baltimore County) disagrees. “To me, it just looks like sour grapes over the election,” said Jennings. “We don’t reveal our tax returns as legislators. Why are you doing it for the president and not every other office too?”

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