Presidential tax return ballot question clears key hurdle

A proposed Massachusetts ballot question that would require presidential candidates to release their tax returns from the prior six years to secure a spot on the state primary ballot has cleared a key hurdle.

Democratic Attorney General Maura Healey certified the question Wednesday, saying it passed constitutional muster and could go before voters next year if supporters collect the needed signatures.

The proposal is a reaction to President Donald Trump’s refusal to publicly release his tax returns during the 2016 election.

The measure is the subject of a hearing at the Massachusetts Statehouse on Wednesday. Democratic state Secretary William Galvin oversees state elections and supports the push to release tax returns.

Legislators in Hawaii and New Jersey approved similar measures this year. Both failed to become law.

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