Briggs introduces bill requiring presidential and gubernatorial candidates to publically disclose tax returns

HARRISBURG, Feb. 25 – State Rep. Tim Briggs, D-Montgomery, announced today that he is introducing legislation that would require U.S. presidential and commonwealth gubernatorial candidates to make their tax returns public in order to be eligible to appear on the Pennsylvania ballot.

Briggs’ bill seeks to make a presidential or gubernatorial candidate’s financial interests transparent before they are elected to the highest office in the state or nation, respectively.

“The need for this disclosure is clear,” Briggs said. “Many Americans, not to mention the national security community, want to know whether candidates for the highest offices in their state and country have personal or business interests that could undermine their commitment to act in their constituents’ best interests should they be elected.

“With the 2020 presidential election already starting, we need to act before it is too late,” Briggs said. “All Americans must know whether there are any financial interests that may influence a candidate’s decision-making while serving.”

Briggs’ introduction of the bill follows President Donald Trump’s and 2018 Republican Pennsylvania Gubernatorial nominee Scott Wagner’s refusal to release their tax returns.

“President Trump’s refusal to release a most basic, yet vital, piece of information could be categorized as a textbook bait and switch,” Briggs said. “One or more states’ refusal to place a candidate on the ballot, on the other hand, could easily prevent something like this from ever happening again. All public officials owe transparency and honesty to their constituents, and that is the intent behind my bill.”

Briggs’ legislation is part of the House Democrats’ Your Vote Counts package, which consists of bills to increase voter turnout, make it easier for people to register to vote and to cast a ballot, and restore peoples’ faith in their elections.