Biss introduces bill requiring presidential candidates in Illinois to release tax returns

Nora Shelly, City Editor

State Sen. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) introduced a bill Tuesday that would bar presidential candidates from appearing on the ballot in Illinois if they had not released tax returns.

The bill is “designed to ensure Illinois voters have important information about the financial interests of candidates,” according to a news release. It would require candidates to release five years of their income tax returns.

“As voters are called upon to vote for the best possible candidate for president, they should have as much information as possible about their options,” Biss said.

The bill also requires vice presidential candidates to release their returns. Candidates would be required to file copies of their returns with the IRS before the general election ballot was certified.

Biss said in the statement that President Donald Trump “deprived voters of the opportunity” check up his business record by not releasing his tax returns.

Biss cited a New York Times article that laid out potential conflicts with business dealings Trump may have while in office. The article also emphasizes that it was hard to know all potential conflicts because Trump had not released his tax returns.

“In other words, without seeing President Trump’s tax returns, we can’t even figure out what conflicts of interest may be out there,” Biss said in the news release. “This situation is dangerous, and it is wrong. It’s our right as Americans to demand the highest ethical standards from those who seek the presidency and ask us to put our trust in them.”

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