Tuesday, May 2, 2017

New York State Senate Elections Committee kills T.R.U.M.P. Act

The Senate Elections Committee on Monday defeated a bill that would require presidential candidates to release their tax returns if they want to appear on ballots in New York state.
Sen. Brad Hoylman, D-Manhattan, unveiled the Tax Returns Uniformly Made Public (T.R.U.M.P.) Act early this session after last year’s controversy over Donald Trump refusing to release his tax records, as every other presidential candidate has done for decades.
Failure to comply with the proposed law would disqualify a candidate from appearing on the general election ballot and prohibit New York’s representatives in the Electoral College from casting a vote for them.
The controversy surrounding Trump’s tax secrecy has led to many states considering drafting similar bills, using Hoylman’s bill as a template. The bill has been introduced in New York, Massachusetts, California, Rhode Island, New Jersey and Virginia. Legislators in Maine, Maryland, Hawaii, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Oregon and Colorado have made commitments to introduce similar bills.
No law currently forces presidential candidates to release their tax information, but it had become customary over the last 40 years for candidates to do so. President Trump stated last September during a debate against Hillary Clinton that not paying income taxes, “Makes me smart.”
Hoylman forced a vote in the Elections Committee on Monday by filing a Motion for Committee Consideration, but it was defeated. The committee is made up of five Republicans and four Democrats.

Sen. Brad Hoylman

“Senate Republicans are carrying the water for Donald Trump to help keep his tax returns secret from New Yorkers,” Hoylman said following the vote. “Without them, we don’t know how his tax cut plan will benefit himself and his family. I’m thankful that legislation similar to mine has been introduced in 29 states across the country. If the New York State Senate doesn’t have the courage to pass my bill, I’m confident another state will.”
Since first announcing the T.R.U.M.P. Act back in December, the bill has been endorsed by the New York Times Editorial Board, and has been announced or introduced in 29 states representing more than 150 million voters and 338 electoral votes.
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