Under Maryland Election Law, Section 13-505, counties may establish their own system of public campaign financing. In September 2014 the Council unanimously enacted Bill 16-14, which established a Public Election Fund to provide public campaign financing for County Executive and County Council candidates. When the Council enacted Bill 16-14 it was the first measure of its type in the Washington metropolitan region and in Maryland.
The goals of this law are to:
The Maryland State Board of Elections is responsible for certifying candidates and generally administering the public campaign financing system.
The County’s Director of Finance is responsible for establishing a Public Election Fund and distributing the public contributions to certified candidates.
The Council is responsible for appropriating funds. As of January 2017, the Council has appropriated $6 million to the Public Election Fund.
To qualify for public financing, a candidate would have to:
Only contributions from County residents are eligible for matching funds, which are as follows:
The maximum limits on public funds per candidate for either the primary election or the general election are $750,000 for a County Executive candidate, $250,000 for a Council at-large candidate and $125,000 for a district Council candidate. Matching funds will only be disbursed to a certified candidate in a contested election and will not be distributed for self/spouse contributions to candidates running unopposed.
A candidate who wins the nomination after receiving County matching funds up to the maximum for the office during the primary, may continue to receive matching funds from the County up to the maximum amount for that office during a contested general election for additional qualifying contributions received.
Public contributions to certified candidates must be used for primary or general election expenses. Candidates must return any unspent public campaign funds after withdrawing as a candidate, losing in a primary election or at the conclusion of the general election.
Further details on the County’s public campaign financing can be found in the Montgomery County Code, Article IV, Public Campaign Financing.
A summary of current Public Campaign Finance Laws - The Maryland State Board of Elections.
More information about Montgomery County’s Public Election Fund:
View Council and Committee Sessions on Public Campaign Financing.
Public Election Finance Committee
Bill 16-14 also established a Committee to Recommend Funding for the Public Election Fund. This Committee must report to the Council by March 1 of each year and estimate the funding necessary to implement the campaign finance system and recommend an appropriation for the Public Election Fund for the following year.
For additional information contact Amanda Mihill, Council Legislative Attorney, at Amanda.Mihill@montgomerycountymd.gov .
|2017 Agendas||2017 Minutes|
|January 12||January 12|
|2016 Agendas||2016 Minutes|
|January 11||January 11|
|February 16||February 16|
|September 20||September 20|
|November 10||November 10|
|December 8||December 8|
|2015 Agendas||2015 Minutes|
|April 29||April 29|
|May 18||May 18|
|July 8||July 8|
|September 8||September 8|
|October 5||October 5|
|November 2||November 2|
|December 1||December 1|
Committee to Recommend Funding for the Public Election Fund Members: