(Albany, NY) – The NYS Senate Democrats introduced a “hostile amendment” today to force a vote on legislation introduced by State Senator Brad Hoylman that would give New Yorkers, and all Americans, the opportunity to review Presidential candidates’ tax returns. The “hostile amendment” is a parliamentary maneuver requiring the Senate Majority to allow an up or down vote on the measure, thereby compelling the Senate republicans to state publicly where they stand on the issue of tax transparency.
Senator Brad Hoylman said, “Trump’s refusal to release his taxes continues to raise deep questions over whether public policy is furthering private gain. The American public has been left in the dark on how Trump’s massive tax cuts may benefit him personally or even the details of his foreign entanglements. New York has an obligation to shed light on these issues. But today, the Senate republicans chose Donald Trump’s interests over those of their own constituents. Thankfully, with 29 states across the country taking up legislation similar to mine, the fight for transparency is far from over.”
“Leaders should play by the same rules as the citizens they seek to represent, and this bill simply helps New Yorkers see if their Presidential candidates pay taxes like the rest of us,” Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said. “The Senate Democrats have led the fight to increase government transparency and this action continues our push to make elected officials more accountable to the people they serve. New Yorkers overwhelmingly support the release of Presidential candidates’ tax returns, and I urge the Senate Republican/IDC Coalition to listen to the public and support this legislation.”
The Tax Returns Uniformly Made Public (TRUMP) Act, S.26, would ensure all candidates for President or Vice President release five years of tax returns to the New York State Board of Elections which would then provide them to the public. Any candidate who fails to comply would be barred from appearing on New York State ballots, and would be blocked from receiving any support from New York’s electors in the Electoral College.
For over 40 years, all major party Presidential candidates have released their tax returns. The legislation advanced by Senate Democrats was introduced in response to the unprecedented refusal by then-candidate Donald Trump to releases his tax returns for public review. With the majority of New Yorkers and Americans demanding to have President Trump release his tax returns, this legislation should not be controversial and the Senate Republican/IDC Coalition should join Senate Democrats in supporting it.
Footage of Senator Hoylman’s floor remarks are available here.