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Guide to Public Financing Programs Nationwide

More than three dozen states and localities have adopted powerful programs to counter big money in politics.

Last Updated: October 18, 2023
Published: June 29, 2023

Since the Supreme Court largely deregulated election spending in 2010 in Citizens United, wealthy donors and special interests have pumped more and more money into the political process. Small donor public campaign financing has proved to be the most powerful tool available to amplify the voices of everyday Americans and strengthen connections between candidates and constituents. 

Small donor matching systems multiply modest donations from state or local residents to participating candidates with public funds. Other programs offer qualifying candidates block grants or provide residents with vouchers to assign public funds to participating candidates. Each program requires candidates to meet thresholds to show sufficient community support, ensuring their viability before they may access public funds. 

Fourteen states and 26 localities now offer the option, with more considering the reform. In addition, a federal public financing program is available for presidential candidates. This resource catalogs all public financing programs in the United States by state or municipality, program type, year of enactment, and other key facts. We will periodically update the list as policymakers create new programs. 

State Programs

Arizona 

Enacted: 1998 
Program Type: Full grants 
Offices: Governor, attorney general, secretary of state, treasurer, superintendent of public instruction, corporation commission, mine inspector, state legislature 
Enacted Through: Ballot referendum 
Administered by: Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission 

Connecticut 

Enacted: 2005 
Program Type: Full grants  
Offices: Governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, state comptroller, state treasurer, state legislature 
Enacted Through: Legislation 
Administered by: Connecticut State Elections Enforcement Commission 

Florida 

Enacted: 1986 
Program Type: Two-to-one match during qualification and one-to-one match once candidate reaches qualification threshold on the first $250 of in-state contributions  
Offices: Governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, chief financial officer, commissioner of agriculture 
Enacted Through: Legislation 
Administered by: Florida Division of Elections 

Hawaii 

Enacted: 1979 
Program Type: One-to-one match on in-state contributions of $100 or less 
Offices: Governor, lieutenant governor, county mayors, prosecuting attorneys, county councils, state legislature, office of Hawaiian affairs 
Enacted Through: Legislation 
Administered by: Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission 

Maine 

Enacted: 1996 
Program Type: Full grants with the option to qualify for supplemental grants 
Offices: Governor, state legislature 
Enacted Through: Ballot referendum 
Administered by: Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices 

Maryland 

Enacted: 1974 
Program Type: Progressive match of between two-to-one and eight-to-one on in-state contributions of $150 or less 
Offices: Governor 
Enacted Through: Legislation 
Administered by: Maryland State Board of Elections 

Massachusetts 

Enacted: 1975 
Program Type: One-to-one match on the first $250 of individual contributions  
Offices: Governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of the commonwealth, treasurer and receiver general, auditor 
Enacted Through: Legislation 
Administered by: Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance 

Michigan 

Enacted: 1976 
Program Type: Two-to-one match on the first $100 of in-state contributions for primary elections and partial grants or one-to-one match on the first $100 of in-state contributions for general elections 
Offices: Governor 
Enacted Through: Legislation 
Administered by: Michigan Department of State Bureau of Elections 

Minnesota 

Enacted: 1974 
Program Type: Partial grants to candidates in general elections and refunds to state residents who contribute to a participating party or candidate 
Offices: Governor, attorney general, secretary of state, state auditor, state legislature 
Enacted Through: Legislation 
Administered by: Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board 

New Jersey 

Enacted: 1974 
Program Type: Two-to-one match on contributions up to the contribution limit of $4,900 per contributor 
Offices: Governor 
Enacted Through: Legislation 
Administered by: New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission 

New Mexico 

Enacted: 2003 
Program Type: Full grants proportionate to the number of registered voters 
Offices: Supreme court justices, court of appeals judges, district judges 
Enacted Through: Legislation 
Administered by: New Mexico Secretary of State 

New York 

Enacted: 2020 
Program Type: Six-to-one match on in-state contributions of $5 to $250 to statewide candidates and progressive match of between eight-to-one and twelve-to-one on in-district contributions of $5 to $250 to legislative candidates 
Offices: Governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, comptroller, state legislature 
Enacted Through: Legislation 
Administered by: New York State Public Campaign Finance Board 

Rhode Island 

Enacted: 1988 
Program Type: Two-to-one match on contributions of $500 or less and one-to-one match on contributions up to $2,000 for candidates for governor or $1,000 for other statewide offices in general elections 
Offices: Governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, general treasurer
Enacted Through: Legislation 
Administered by: Rhode Island Board of Elections 

Vermont 

Enacted: 1997 
Program Type: Full grants  
Offices: Governor, lieutenant governor 
Enacted Through: Legislation 
Administered by: Vermont Secretary of State 

Local Programs

Albuquerque, New Mexico 

Enacted: 2005 
Program Type: Full grants 
Offices: Mayor, city council 
Enacted Through: Ballot referendum 
Administered by: Albuquerque City Clerk 

Anne Arundel County, Maryland 

Enacted: 2023 
Program Type: Progressive match of between two-to-one and four-to-one for county council candidates and two-to-one and six-to-one for county executive candidates on in-county individual contributions of $150 or less (in implementation) 
Offices: County executive, county council 
Enacted Through: Legislation 
Administered by: Public Campaign Financing System Commission and State Board of Elections  

Austin, Texas 

Enacted: 1992 
Program Type: Partial grants in runoff elections 
Offices: Mayor, city council 
Enacted Through: Legislation 
Administered by: Austin City Clerk 

Baltimore, Maryland 

Enacted: 2018 
Program Type: Progressive match of between two-to-one and nine-to-one on in-city contributions of $150 or less to candidates for city council president, city comptroller, and mayor and progressive match of between five-to-one and nine-to-one on in-city contributions of $75 or less for city council candidates (in implementation)  
Offices: City council, city council president, city comptroller, mayor
Enacted Through: Ballot referendum 
Administered by: Baltimore City Fair Election Fund Commission and State Board of Elections 

Baltimore County, Maryland 

Enacted: 2020 
Program Type: Progressive match of between two-to-one and four-to-one for county council candidates and two-to-one and six-to-one for county executive candidates on in-county contributions of $150 or less (in implementation)  
Offices: County council, county executive 
Enacted Through: Ballot referendum 
Administered by: Baltimore County Fair Election Fund Commission and State Board of Elections 

Berkeley, California 

Enacted: 2016 
Program Type: Six-to-one match on in-city contributions of $60 or less  
Offices: Mayor, city council, auditor, school board directors, rent stabilization board commissioners 
Enacted Through: Ballot referendum 
Administering Entity: Berkeley Fair Campaign Practices Commission 

Boulder, Colorado 

Enacted: 2000 
Program Type: One-to-one match on contributions up to 50 percent of the expenditure limit 
Offices: City council 
Enacted Through: Ballot referendum 
Administering Entity: Boulder City Clerk 

Denver, Colorado 

Enacted: 2018 
Program Type: Nine-to-one match on in-city contributions of $50 or less  
Offices: Mayor, city council, city council at-large, auditor, judges, clerk and recorder 
Enacted Through: Ballot referendum 
Administered by: Denver City Clerk and Recorder 

Evanston, Illinois

Enacted: 2023
Program Type: Nine-to-one match on the first $50 of in-city contributions
Offices: Mayor
Enacted Through: Legislation
Administered by: Evanston City Clerk

Howard County, Maryland 

Enacted: 2017 
Program Type: Progressive match of between one-to-one and five-to-one for county council candidates and one-to-one and seven-to-one for county executive candidates on in-county contributions of $150 or less per donor  
Offices: County council, county executive 
Enacted Through: Ballot referendum 
Administered by: Howard County Citizens’ Election Fund Commission and State Board of Elections 

Long Beach, California 

Enacted: 1994 
Program Type: Two-to-one match up to 33 percent of the expenditure limit in the primary elections and one-to-one match up to 50 percent of the expenditure limit in runoff elections 
Offices: Mayor, city council, city attorney, city prosecutor, city auditor 
Enacted Through: Ballot referendum 
Administered by: Long Beach City Clerk 

Los Angeles, California 

Enacted: 1990 
Program Type: Six-to-one match on in-city small contributions of up to one-seventh of the contribution limit for the relevant office 
Offices: Mayor, city council, city attorney, city controller 
Enacted Through: Ballot referendum 
Administered by: Los Angeles City Ethics Commission 

Miami-Dade County, Florida 

Enacted: 2000 
Program Type: Lump-sum partial grant funding 
Offices: Mayor, board of county commissioners
Enacted Through: Ballot referendum 
Administered by: Miami-Dade County Department of Elections 

Montgomery County, Maryland 

Enacted: 2014 
Program Type: Progressive match of between two-to-one and four-to-one for county council candidates and two-to-one and six-to-one for county executive candidates on in-county contributions of $150 or less  
Offices: County council, county executive 
Enacted Through: Legislation 
Administered by: Montgomery County Public Election Fund Commission and State Board of Elections

New Haven, Connecticut 

Enacted: 2006 
Program Type: Lump-sum partial grant funding and match for in-city contributions: two-to-one match on contributions up to $30 and $60 match on contributions of $30 or more  
Offices: Mayor 
Enacted Through: Legislation 
Administered by: New Haven Democracy Fund Board 

New York City, New York 

Enacted: 1988 
Program Type: Eight-to-one match on the first $250 or $175 of an eligible contribution from city residents 
Offices: Mayor, public advocate, comptroller, borough presidents, city council 
Enacted Through: Legislation; modified by ballot referendum increased the matching ratio 
Administered by: New York City Campaign Finance Board 

Oakland, California 

Enacted: 1999 
Program Type: City residents receive vouchers to contribute to participating candidates (in implementation) 
Offices: Mayor, city auditor, city attorney, city council at-large, city council, school board directors 
Enacted Through: Legislation, ballot referendum expanded the program 
Administered by: Oakland City Public Ethics Commission 

Portland, Maine 

Enacted: 2022 
Program Type: Full grants with the option to qualify for supplemental grants (in implementation)  
Offices: Mayor, city council, school board members 
Enacted Through: Ballot referendum 
Administered by: Portland City Clerk 

Portland, Oregon 

Enacted: 2016 
Program Type: Nine-to-one match on contributions of $20 or less from city residents 
Offices: Mayor, city commissioners, auditor 
Enacted Through: Legislation 
Administered by: Portland Elections Commission 

Prince George’s County, Maryland 

Enacted: 2018 
Program Type: Progressive match of between one-to-one and seven-to-one on in-county contributions of $150 or less (in implementation)  
Offices: County council, county executive 
Enacted Through: Legislation 
Administered by: Prince George’s County Fair Election Fund Commission and State Board of Elections

Richmond, California 

Enacted: 2003 
Program Type: Matching funds disbursed in increments of $2,500 based on total matchable contributions raised 
Offices: Mayor, city council 
Enacted Through: Legislation 
Administered by: Richmond City Clerk  

San Francisco, California 

Enacted: 2000 
Program Type: Lump-sum partial grant funding and six-to-one match on in-city contributions of $150 or less 
Offices: Mayor, board of supervisors 
Enacted Through: Ballot referendum 
Administered by: City and County of San Francisco Ethics Commission 

Santa Fe, New Mexico 

Enacted: 1987 
Program Type: Full grants with the option to raise a capped amount of additional contributions of up to $100 that are matched at a ratio of one-to-one 
Offices: Mayor, city council, municipal judge 
Enacted Through: Legislation 
Administered by: Santa Fe City Clerk  

Seattle, Washington 

Enacted: 2015 
Program Type: City residents receive $100 in vouchers to contribute to participating candidates 
Offices: Mayor, city attorney, city council at-large, city council
Enacted Through: Ballot referendum 
Administered by: Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission 

Tucson, Arizona 

Enacted: 1985 
Program Type: One-to-one match on contributions up to the contribution limit of $500 
Offices: Mayor, city council 
Enacted Through: Ballot referendum 
Administered by: Tucson City Clerk 

Washington, DC 

Enacted: 2018 
Program Type: Lump-sum partial grant and five-to-one match on in-city contributions of $200 or less 
Offices: Mayor, attorney general, city council, state board of education 
Enacted Through: Legislation 
Administered by: District of Columbia Office of Campaign Finance