Montgomery County, Maryland Passes Public Campaign Financing Bill - State and Federal Communications

September 30, 2014  •  

Montgomery County, Maryland Passes Public Campaign Financing Bill

Map of Maryland highlighting Montgomery CountyCounty Council has voted to enact public financing for county elections beginning with the 2015-2018 election cycle. Bill 16-14 will establish a public election fund, regulate participating candidates, and authorize the Maryland State Board of Elections to enforce the provisions.

To qualify, candidates for county executive or council must demonstrate viability by raising a specific number of small individual contributions between $5 and $150. Candidates for county executive need at least 500 contributions totaling $40,000. At-large council candidates must collect 250 donations worth $20,000.

Maryland lawmakers included a public funding option for counties as part of a 2013 campaign finance reform bill. Montgomery is the first county to pass such a public campaign financing measure.

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