Massachusetts moves to require presidential candidates to release tax returns

Massachusetts moves to require presidential candidates to release tax returns
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A Massachusetts ballot initiative that would require presidential candidates to release their personal income tax returns was certified on Wednesday, paving the way for its backers to begin collecting signatures for the measure to appear on the ballot.

The certification does not guarantee that the measure will appear on the ballot but verifies that the proposed measure meets certain constitutional requirements.

The initiative would seek voters' approval of a requirement that candidates for president and vice president submit to the state's secretary copies of their tax returns for the past six years. 

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey (D) certified the initiative along with 20 other potential ballot initiatives on Wednesday.

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Meanwhile, state lawmakers held a hearing on a bill that would also require presidential hopefuls to release their tax returns to get on the Massachusetts ballot. 

The measure requiring presidential candidates to release their tax returns follows President Trump's refusal to do so during the 2016 presidential race despite pressure from voters, watchdog groups and reporters. 

In declining to release his tax returns, Trump broke with decades of precedent. Almost every major-party presidential nominee since 1976 has released at least some previous years' personal tax returns.