Bill requiring release of presidential tax returns advances

Could a state make casting its electoral votes contingent on the candidates for president and vice president releasing their last three annual tax returns — a convention flouted in 2016 by Donald J. Trump?

The Connecticut legislature’s Government Administration and Elections Committee voted 9-8 along party lines Monday night to approve and send to the floor House Bill 6575 bill, which would test that notion in state law.

“Can I just ask what the point of this bill is?” said Rep. Rob C. Sampson, R-Wolcott. “Do we have any jurisdiction over such a thing?”

“To me, this is a perfectly reasonable thing to have in front of us,” replied Sen. Gayle Slossberg, D-Milford.

She noted the extensive testimony in support of the measure during a public hearing.

Sampson, who called the proposal “divisive” and “blatantly political,” asked if any other state had done such a thing.

Democrats replied that bills were pending elsewhere, but they were unaware that New Jersey actually passed a similar bill earlier this month.

But Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican ally of Trump’s, albeit one who was bounced as the head of the presidential transition team, is widely expected to veto it.

Any state that adopted such a requirement would have no leverage over Trump and his tax returns unless he runs again in 2020.

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