(April 21) – A bill to expand the information available to Coloradans voting for president passed the House today.
HB17-1328, sponsored by Reps. Edie Hooton, D-Boulder and Chris Hansen, D-Denver, would require presidential and vice presidential candidates to release five years of their tax returns in order to qualify for the ballot in Colorado in 2020 and beyond.
Four decades of presidential candidates from both major parties have released their federal tax returns, but such disclosure is not required. Though it was President Trump who broke with that tradition, Rep. Hooton noted that this is a bipartisan effort nationwide. Twenty-six states have introduced similar legislation, many with Republican sponsors. A GOP-sponsored bill now before Congress would impose disclosure requirements at the federal level.
“Personal finances reveal a lot about candidates,” Rep. Hooton said. “How much tax people pay on their assets, information about who a candidate is conducting business with, charitable contributions, these all reveal a lot about a person’s values. The public deserves financial transparency from those seeking the highest office in the nation.”
“We believe that this is a nonpartisan issue,” Rep. Hansen said. “This is financial transparency for the voters of Colorado, and we think it’s very appropriate to add this step for the most important elected position in the United States.”
Despite the bipartisan nature of the issue across the United States, no House Republicans supported enhanced transparency in presidential elections. The House voted 36-28 to send HB17-1328 to the Senate.