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California May Require Presidential Candidates To Release Tax Returns

SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) – Two Bay Area lawmakers are proposing legislation that may prevent Donald Trump from showing up on the ballot in 2020, if he continues to avoid releasing his tax returns.

State Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and State Sen. Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg) are planning to introduce legislation next year that would require any presidential or vice presidential candidate to release five years of tax returns to appear on the California ballot.

"The American people deserve honesty and transparency from their President. Unfortunately, we are getting lies and obfuscation from President-Elect Trump, especially in regards to how his business interests may impact his administration," Wiener said in a statement. "Requiring that this basic financial information be made available to voters will help build critical public trust."

"The world is a dangerous place and all potential conflicts of interest a future president may have, let alone dangerous ties a candidate may have with a foreign government, must be disclosed. This legislation will help make transparency great again," said McGuire, echoing the President-elect's campaign slogan.

Throughout the campaign, Trump was attacked for his refusal to release his tax returns. Every president since Jimmy Carter has released their returns. Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Green Party nominee Dr. Jill Stein released their tax returns during the 2016 campaign.

The proposal from McGuire and Wiener is similar to a bill being proposed in President-elect's home state of New York. A State Senator there has introduced a bill he calls the Tax Returns Uniformly Made Public or TRUMP act, which would require presidential candidates to disclose their tax returns at least 50 days before the election to appear on the ballot.

Trump received 4.48 million votes in California in the 2016 election, according to the final tally from the Secretary of State's office.

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