GO Item 1
November 2, 201 7
October 31, 2017
Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee
Robert H. Drummer, Senior Legislative Atromeyf ;;}
Expedited Bill 31-17, Elections - Public Campaign Financing -
Contributions - Amendments
Expedited Bill 31-1 7, Elections - Public Campaign Financing - Contributions -
Amendments, sponsored by Lead Sponsors Councilmembers Navarro, Katz and Council Vice
President Riemer, was introduced on October 3, 2017. A public hearing was held on October 17.
Bill 31-1 7 would increase the amount of money an applicant candidate who is not married
can donate or loan the candidate's campaign to match the amount permitted for a candidate who
Bill 16-14, Elections - Public Campaign Financing, was enacted on September 30, 2014
and signed into law on October 6, 2014. Bill 16-14 established the first public campaign finance
system for County elections in Maryland. The law designates the Maryland State Board of
Elections to certify candidates and generally administer the public campaign financing system.
The Director of Finance is responsible for establishing a Public Election Fund and distributing the
public contributions to certified candidates. The Council has appropriated approximately $11
million to date for the Public Election Fund.
A candidate needs to obtain a specific number of small contributions from a County
resident of between $5 and $150 to qualify for public funding. Each of these qualifying
contributions must be received during the qualifying period.
A candidate for Executive must collect at least 500 qualifying contributions and an
aggregate total of at least $40,000 to qualify. A candidate for At-Large Councilmember must
collect at least 250 qualifying contributions and an aggregate total of at least $20,000. A candidate
for District Councilmember must collect at least 125 qualifying contributions and an aggregate
total of at least $10,000.
A candidate for Executive certified to receive public funding will be eligible for a matching
contribution of $6 for each dollar of a qualifying contribution for the first $50 of the contribution;
$4 for each dollar of the second $50; and $2 for each dollar of the third $50. The match for a
candidate for Councilmember is $4 for each dollar of the first $50; $3 for each dollar of the second
$50; and $2 for each dollar of the third $50. For example, a candidate for Executive who collects
On July 3, 2017, the Howard County Council overrode the Executive's veto of a public campaign financing law that
is like the Montgomery County law. The new law will take effect for the 2022 elections in Howard County.