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Maryland Shows Republicans and Democrats Can Come Together on Public Financing of Elections

May 12, 2015 | Laura Friedenbach

Washington D.C. — Today, campaign finance watchdog Every Voice Center praised Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) for signing a bill to empower everyday people in politics by ensuring the state’s gubernatorial public financing system will be available for future candidates.

“By ensuring the future of Maryland’s existing public financing system, Governor Hogan and state legislators have shown that Republicans and Democrats can come together to ensure a democracy that is inclusive and works for everyday people,” said President and CEO of Every Voice Center Nick Nyhart. “As Maryland’s first governor to be elected using public financing, Governor Hogan is a leading example of how public financing of elections can work to lift up the voices of everyday people in the political process—and we urge him to to empower more people in politics by expanding public financing to state legislative elections and by restoring voting rights to thousands of disenfranchised people across the state.”

Along with a strong in-state coalition—including Common Cause Maryland, Progressive Maryland, and Maryland PIRG—Every Voice  helped engage activists urging the Governor and legislature to act to restore funding for the Fair Campaign Financing Fund.  Every Voice will continue to partner with allies in the state to fully fund the program and work to expand full public financing to state legislative elections. 

The Fair Campaign Financing Fund gives gubernatorial candidates the option of receiving public funds to support their campaign in exchange for agreeing to limit their overall spending. The passage of today’s bill reinstates a voluntary check-off option added to Maryland tax returns, giving tax payers a chance to designate a portion of their income tax to the fund. Bipartisan majorities passed the bill in the Maryland Senate 29-17 and in the House 102-36.

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Every Voice Center is a national nonpartisan organization that fights to raise the voices of everyday people in our democracy through changing our campaign finance laws and through holding elected officials accountable.