Official 2016 Presidential General Election Question Text
Return to Howard County Ballot Question(s)
Citizens' Election Fund System
Amending the Howard County Charter to require the County Council to pass a law establishing a Citizens' Election Fund System that includes public funding for the campaigns of candidates for county executive or county council, or both. The express legislative purposes for the Amendment include that any System to be proposed for adoption by the Council would promote and encourage broader access to elective office in Howard County, enable County citizens to run for office on the strength of their ideas, and provide for small donations by citizens and matching public funds. The Council law must allow candidates to choose whether to participate in the System, and must establish a commission of County residents to determine annually the amount of County funding required to fully fund the System for the full election cycle for the ensuing fiscal year. The County Executive's proposed annual budget must include the required amount, but if the Executive does not include that amount, the Counci l can add the required amount to the proposed budget. The Executive's proposed annual budget does not have to include the required amount if funds are transferred from the "rainy day fund" to the current expense budget during the current fiscal year, or the Executive certifies that the County's fiscal condition makes it imprudent to include the required amount, and the Council approves the certification by a two-thirds vote. Unspent money in the Citizens' Election Fund at the end of the fiscal year would not lapse into the County treasury.