Agenda Item 3
October 17, 2017
Robert H. Drummer, Senior Legislative Attorney
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 Government Operations and Fiscal
Policy Committee worksession is tentatively scheduled for November 2 at 9:30 a.m.
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.
On July 3, 2017, the Howard County Council overrode the Executive's veto ofa public campaign financing law that
will take effect for the 2022 elections.