Agenda Item 5D
January 31, 2014
Robert H. Drummer. Senior Legislative Attorney
Bill 16-14, Elections - Public Campaign Financing
Bill 16-14, Elections - Public Campaign Financing, sponsored by Councilmembers
Andrews, EIrich, Berliner, Riemer, and Council Vice President Leventhal is scheduled to be
introduced on February 4. A public hearing is tentatively scheduled for March 4 at 7:30 p.m.
Bill 16-14 would:
establish a Public Election Fund to provide public campaign financing for a
candidate for a County elective office;
regulate campaign [mance activity of a candidate for County elective office who
voluntarily accepts public campaign financing;
authorize the Maryland State Board of Elections to administer and enforce the
public campaign financing system; and
provide for penalties for violations of the public campaign financing system.
One of the provisions in the Campaign Finance Reform Act of 2013 (Chapter 419 of the
2013 Laws of Maryland), enacted by the General Assembly in its 2013 Session, authorizes the
governing body of a county to establish, by law, a public campaign finance system for the
election of County Executive and County Council. A copy of this part of Chapter 419 is at ©13.
Bill 16-14 would implement this authority by establishing a public campaign finance
system for the election of County Executive and County Council. The goal of this Bill is to
encourage greater voter participation in County elections, increase opportunities for more
residents to run for office, and reduce the influence of large contributions from businesses,
political action groups, and other large organizations. Councilmember Andrews explained the
purpose of the Bill in his January 29 memorandum at ©15 and summarized the components of
the Bill at ©16.
The Bill would designate the Maryland State Board of Elections to certify candidates and
generally administer the public campaign financing system. The Director of Finance would be
responsible for establishing the Public Election Fund and distributing the public contributions to
certified candidates. The Council would have to appropriate funds for the Public Election Fund.