STAND. COM. REP. NO. 679
RE: S.B. No. 94
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 S.B. No. 94 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO ELECTIONS,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to:
(1) Require candidates for president and vice president of the United States to post their most recent income tax return on the Internet at least sixty days prior to and continuing through the date of the general election for free access by the public in order to be included on the state ballot, subject to certain conditions; and
(2) Prohibit electors from voting for a candidate for president or vice president of the United States unless the candidates have posted their most recent income tax return on the Internet at least sixty days prior to and continuing through the date of the general election.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from one individual. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Honolulu Republican Party and seven individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of Taxation, Department of the Attorney General, 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 and vice presidential candidates to release their income tax returns before they are placed on the Hawaii ballot.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Allowing candidates to redact any personal identification numbers of any kind before posting income tax returns;
(2) Clarifying that "income tax return" has the same meaning as "individual income tax return" as used in the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended; and
(3) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
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 S.B. No. 94, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 94, S.D. 1, and be placed on the calendar for Third Reading.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Judiciary,
KARL RHOADS, Chair