Photo Courtesy: (Evan Vucci / AP)

OLYMPIA - A bill that would require presidential candidates to release their tax returns before appearing on the state primary ballot has passed the Senate.

President Donald Trump could be removed from Washington state ballot if he doesn't release his tax returns under the new legislation.

The legislation would require candidates to release five years of returns before they could appear on either the primary or general election ballot in the state.

Senate Bill 5078 passed by a margin of 28-21. The bill now heads to the House. According to the bill's main sponsor, Sen. Patty Kuderer, the proposal was inspired by President Trump's refusal to release his tax returns.

"Although releasing tax returns has been the norm for about the last 40 years in presidential elections, unfortunately we've seen that norm broken," Kuderer, Bellevue (D), said during debate on Tuesday. Kuderer later stated she was referring to Trump.

How a candidate has handled their own financial affairs and personal investments are relevant details for voters choosing a commander-in-chief, Kuderer added.

"It's become part of the vetting process," Kuderer said later.

The proposal would apply only to candidates for president and vice president.

The bill states:

"Presidential candidates who do not comply with the 9 requirements of subsection (1) of this section may not appear on the 10 presidential preference primary ballot."

The bill continues, "By sixty-three days before a general presidential election, all candidates for president and vice president shall comply with the requirements of subsection (1) of this section. Candidates for president or vice president who do not comply with the requirements of this subsection may not appear on the general election ballot."

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson and solicitor general Noah Purcell told lawmakers in an advisory letter issued before Tuesday's vote they thought the proposal was legal.

"The disclosure requirement you propose is likely Constitutional," the pair wrote.

Ferguson and Purcell continued to say in the same letter that because of the many possible interpretations of the law, if it passed the bill "would definitely be challenged in court."

In addition to requiring presidential candidates to release their tax returns, the bill would also direct the Secretary of State to post them publicly.

The bill can be read in it's entirety here.

(7) comments

Desert Dweller

Are there any Washington State politicians with even a shred of common sense? If you didn't break the law with your taxes what earthly difference does it make what and how you made your income?


We don't need Trumps taxes. We need the taxes of all politicians who got rich while in office. Trump is the cleanest President ever to have withstood the scrutiny he is under and they still have nothing on him. Trump is the first President in my 40 years on earth that has a heart and soul. The satanist deep state can't stand it. Even If they take him off the ballot, We will write him in. Keep pushing the patriots around. Government is for the people not the other way around.


Why stop at just the resident and Vice President. I say make it a legal requirement that any person running for any political office be required to publicly disclose their tax returns for the past three years. Senators, Congressman/woman, all the way down to county commissioners and city counsel members, anyone who are voted into their position by the voters.


Sen. Kuderer, just show me in the US Constitution where it states the anyone running for President has to show tax records. This will be thrown out by the US Supreme Court on appellee if it goes that far. No one said that the first guy had to show his tax records. And as for Mr. Trumps tax records, you can't tell me that the IRS hasn't gone over them fine tooth comb for years. As one person has already posted, no common person, and some professionals, could understand his taxes.


Donald Trumps tax returns are going to be so complicated that your local H&R Block hero won't be able to help you lefties figure it out and the media will only misrepresent what the tax returns say anyways.


It's About Time Someone Has The Cojones To Stand Up To This Buffoon....


So? We'll just write him in. You can't stop MAGA!

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.