BACKGROUND: Each individual state controls the rules and process for candidates placing their names on the ballot for POTUS and VPOTUS. SB 982 and HB 780 are Illinois Legislative bills that require POTUS and VPOTUS candidates to show 5 years of tax returns to be on the ballot in the State of Illinois. They are currently working through the legislative process. The legislative process includes 1) passing a subcommittee, 2) passing the full committee, 3) a floor vote, and 4) going through the other chamber. Indivisible has been actively working to get support from various members of the leadership including Senate Majority Leader Cullerton and House Majority Whip Lang.


SB982 is out of committee and is currently on the floor.


On March 6th, HB 780 was assigned to the Ballot Access Subcommittee. To get out of the Subcommittee and on to the Elections & Campaign Finance Committee it needs three of five votes. We currently have the co-sponsors to move the bill out of subcommittee and back into committee. As such, we are focused on continuing to build support and co-sponsors for the bill from the full house membership. We need your help now!
Republican Representatives who may be open to supporting HB780:
Representative Name Springfield Number District Number
  • Mike Fortner 217-782-1653 630-293-9344
  • Margo McDermed 217-782-0424 815-277-2079
  • Mark Batinick 217-782-1331 815-254-0000
  • Patricia Bellock 217-782-1448 630-852-8633
  • Avery Bourne 217-782-8071 217-324-5200
  • Peter Breen 217-782-8037 630-403-8135
  • Jim Durkin 217-782-0494 630-325-2028
  • David Harris 217-782-3739 224-764-2440
  • Jeanne Ives 217-558-1037 630-384-9719
  • Sheri Jesiel 217-782-8151 847-395-8000
  • Michael McAuliffe 217-782-8182 773-444-0611
  • David McSweeney 217-782-1517 847-516-0052
  • Thomas Morrison 217-782-8026 847-202-6584
  • David Olsen 217-782-6578 630-737-0504
  • Nick Sauer 217-782-3696 847-984-2485
  • Grant Wehrli 217-782-6507 630-696-4160
  • Barbara Wheeler 217-782-1664 847-973-0064
  • Christine Winger 217-782-4014 847-252-9311
  • Steven Andersson 217-782-5457 630-457-5460
  • Thomas Bennett 217-558-1039 815-844-9179
  • Dan Brady 217-782-1118 309-662-1100
  • Terri Bryant 217-782-0387 618-242-8115
  • Tim Butler 217-782-0053 217-782-0053
  • Tom Demmer 217-782-0535 815-561-3690
  • Norine Hammond 217-782-0416 309-836-2707
  • Chad Hays 217-782-4811 217-477-0104
  • Sara Wojcicki Jimenez 217-782-0044 217-782-0044
  • Tony McCombie 217-782-3992 815-632-7384
  • Bill Mitchell 217-782-8163 217-876-1968
  • Pritchard 217-782-0425 815-748-3494
  • Ryan Spain 217-782-8108 309-690-7373
  • Brian Stewart 217-782-8186 815-232-0774
Sample Script:
Hello, my name is [your name]. May I ask who I am speaking with? [write down name]
Hi, [use their name] I am calling on behalf of my organization Indivisible Illinois. We have close to 10,000 members across the state and our membership would like the [Representative/Senator] to co-sponsor [HB780/SB982]. Will the [Representative/Senator] co-sponsor this important legislation?
OPTION1: Yes he/she will co-sponsor: Fantastic! When can we expect to see the [Representative/Senator}’s name on the bill? We would like to publicly thank them on our social media channels.
OPTION 2: I’m not familiar with that legislation, I’ll have to check: That’s understandable there are a lot of bills out there to keep track of. If the [Representative/Senator] has not evaluated the legislation we would like the opportunity to discuss it’s merits. When can we schedule a phone call or in person meeting to discuss? We can make anytime for a phone call and we will be in Springfield on April 4.
OPTION 3: No, the representative will not co-sponsor this legislation: That’s disappointing. May I ask what challenges the [Representative/Senator] has with the proposed legislation? [Use talking points below to discuss, then] We would like the opportunity to discuss with the [Representative/Senator] directly. When can we schedule a phone call or in person meeting to discuss? We can make anytime for a phone call and we will be in Springfield on April 4.
Isn’t this just a partisan attempt by Democrats to keep Donald Trump off the ballot?
  • This bill is about transparency and codifying long held norms in American politics.
  • Look at what we learned about Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Global Initiative from her releasing her tax returns. Knowing that someone was elected without releasing tax returns. Why would someone in her position in the future ever release her tax returns?
  • Recent polling shows that 74% of people think Trump and by extension all candidates should release their tax returns.
  • Similar legislation has been Introduced in 24 states. In Minnesota and Kansas this was introduced by Republicans.
  • It’s still early but names like “Mark Cuban” have been floated for 2020 Democratic nominee. It is imperative that we see the DEMOCRATIC nominee’s tax returns.
  • While this is best handled at the state level for 2020, Congressional Republicans are stating that President Trump should release his tax returns now, including:
    • Sen Joni Ernst (R- IA),
    • Rep Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ),
    • Rep. Steve Knight (R-CA),
    • Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL),
    • Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL),
    • Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI),
    • Rep. David Young (R-IA),
    • Rep. John Katko (R-NY),
    • Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX),
    • Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-NJ),
    • Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ),
    • Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC),
    • Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC)

Do states even have the rights to do this?

Laurence Tribe, a constitutional-law scholar at Harvard University, states that requiring tax disclosures would be constitutional under the broad powers that states have to control ballot access

Why only POTUS and VPOTUS?

We have discussed this with the author of the bill. The goal of the bill is to make long held norms and encode them in the law. Traditionally tax disclosure has been expected and received from POTUS and VPOTUS. We at Indivisible would be supportive of an amendment to expand this requirement beyond POTUS and VPOTUS