By Alex Fitzsimmons
As the 2012 presidential candidates can attest, financial disclosure can be a dicey subject. But they’re not alone: state legislators must also comply with complex disclosure requirements.
NCSL has compiled a series of charts comparing state financial disclosure laws. All but three states – Idaho, Michigan, and Vermont – require state legislators to file personal financial disclosures. Most states require lawmakers to report their occupation, sources of income, addresses of property and business associations. And more than two-thirds of states require lawmakers to disclose information on spouses and dependent children.
In California, for example, state legislators must report sources of income exceeding $500 and describe the nature of any business associations, including names, dates and positions held. They’re also required to describe their interests in real property, which means forking over dates, addresses and property values.
While most states require elected legislators to file, not all states require financial disclosures from candidates who don’t currently hold elected or appointed office. Nevada and Illinois are two examples of states that require disclosure from both incumbents and challengers.
NCSL’s Center for Ethics in Government keeps tabs on the intricate web of state financial disclosure laws. Since requirements vary between states, you can consult our resources or contact our staff for more information.