Submitted by Sen. Mike Barrett, (D-Lexington)
State Senator Mike Barrett, (D-Lexington), has filed legislation (S. 365) that would require presidential candidates to make full financial disclosure in order to appear on a Massachusetts primary or general election ballot.
Barrett is the chief sponsor of An Act Restoring Financial Transparency in Presidential Elections, S. 365. He said, “Until recently, Americans just assumed that the Office of President ensured the observance of modern practices of disclosure and transparency. While unwritten, these practices are responsible and well-known. One of them is the disclosure by candidates of personal financial information related to possible conflicts of interest. The 2016 election shattered our confidence in the broad acceptance by presidential candidates of certain rules of public conduct and engagement. In state legislatures across the country, lawmakers are stepping forward to restore these fallen standards.”
An Act Restoring Financial Transparency in Presidential Elections would require candidates to submit statements of financial interest and recent tax returns to the Secretary of State, who would be obligated to make the documents public. A candidate for president — or vice president — who did not comply with these provisions would be ineligible to appear on the relevant Massachusetts ballot.
There will be a hearing on this bill on Thursday, June 22nd, at 11 a.m. in Room B1 at the Massachusetts State House. The Joint Committee on Election Laws will hear from elected officials, lawyers and members of the public on S. 365, a proposal to require presidential candidates to disclose personal finances, tax returns included, bearing on potential conflicts of interest, in order to appear on a Massachusetts primary or general election ballot.