Honolulu, Hawaii


RE: H.B. No. 712

H.D. 1




Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Thirtieth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2019

State of Hawaii




Your Committee on Judiciary, to which was referred H.B. No. 712, H.D. 1, entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


The purpose and intent of this measure is to:


(1) Require candidates for President, Vice President, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, or Mayor to disclose their federal income tax returns to be able to be listed on a general election ballot; and


(2) Prohibit electors from voting for candidates for President or Vice President if those candidates have not disclosed their federal tax returns.


Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the LGBT Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawaii, Oahu County Democrats Legislative Priorities Committee, Common Cause Hawaii, and nine individuals. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from one individual. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of the Attorney General, Department of Taxation, and Tax Foundation of Hawaii.


Your Committee finds that until the 2016 election cycle, United States presidential and vice presidential candidates of major parties routinely released their income tax returns as part of a decades-old tradition.  Your Committee further finds that a candidate's income tax returns provide voters with essential information regarding a candidate's potential conflicts of interest, business dealings, financial status, and charitable donations, and allows voters the opportunity to fully evaluate fitness for the offices of President and Vice President of the United States.  This measure will require presidential, vice presidential, gubernatorial, lieutenant gubernatorial, and mayoral candidates to release their income tax returns before they are placed on the Hawaii ballot.


As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Judiciary that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 712, H.D. 1, and recommends that it pass Second Reading and be placed on the calendar for Third Reading.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Judiciary,