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Bill to require presidential candidates to release tax returns passes Illinois Senate

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Robert Mueller is special counsel for the Department of Justice. He oversees the investigation into Russia's possible connections to the 2016 election and Trump campaign.

Illinois state senators on Thursday passed legislation that would require anyone running for president of the United States to release the most recent five years worth of tax returns in order to appear on the ballot in the state.

The bill in the Democratically controlled Senate passed in a 36-19 vote. The legislation would still need to be passed by the state House of Representatives, which is controlled by Democrats.

This joins efforts in other states such as New York, Colorado and Washington and comes after President Donald Trump has refused to release his tax returns. He has long said that his tax returns are under audit.

The U.S. Treasury Department has missed a deadline from the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee to release the president’s tax returns.

State Sen. Rachelle Aud Crowe, D-Glen Carbon voted against the measure.

“I think this is an issue that should be left to the federal government,” Crowe said.

The legislation’s sponsor, state Sen. Tony Munoz, D-Chicago, said he was trying to have more transparency in the presidential election campaign, according to WBEZ.

“If you want to run for vice president or president of the United States, hey, what’s wrong with providing your tax returns for the past five years?” Munoz said, according to WBEZ. “If you’ve got nothing to hide, you shouldn’t worry about anything.”

How metro-east state senators voted

State Sen. Christopher Belt, D-Cahokia: Yes

State Sen. Rachelle Aud Crowe, D-Glen Carbon: No

State Sen. Jason Plummer, R-Edwarsdville: No

State Sen. Paul Schimpf, R-Waterloo: No

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