Proposed bill says no tax return, no name on ballot

LANSING - Presidential and vice presidential candidates who don't supply five years' worth of tax returns to the Michigan Secretary of State within 30 days of an election would not have their name appear on the state ballot under a bill introduced last week in the Legislature.

The bill, sponsored by state Sen. Steven Bieda, D-Warren, is obviously aimed at Republican President Donald Trump, who, so far, has refused to release his tax returns because he says they are still under audit.

“The citizens of Michigan and the American people deserve to know what potential conflicts of interest a presidential candidate and their running mate have, and these potential conflicts can be made clear by turning this federal precedent into state law," Bieda said in a statement.

Related: State of Michigan employees' salaries would be public under House bill

The bill's future, however, is uncertain at best. Both the House of Representatives and the Senate have significant Republican majorities, who are unlikely to give the bill a hearing, let alone a vote.

Another bill introduced last week includes a proposal to give immunity to ministers who refuse to marry a couple based on a violation of the minister's conscience or religious beliefs. Such proposals started being offered after same sex marriage was legalized in the U.S. in 2015.

For more information on bills, go to legislature.mi.gov.

Contact Kathleen Gray: 313-223-4430, kgray99@freepress.com or on Twitter @michpoligal

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© 2017 Detroit Free Press


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