Former Howard County Councilmember Jon Weinstein testifies in favor to correct the Citizens Election Fund as emergency legislation

I am planning s series of articles sharing various testimony and statements from the Howard County Council Public Hearing meeting on January 18th about CB 6-22. This legislation would correct the technical error with the Citizens’ Election Fund and allow dispersement of funds now to candidates that have qualified for the “tax payer funded program”.

The first one I will start with is from former Howard Council Councilmember Jon Weinstein (District 1). I am starting with sharing this testimony because this former Councilmember was the co-author if the original legislation (along with former Councilmember and current Delegate Jen Terrasa). You would be hard pressed to find a better people with knowledge of the intent of the original legislation than Weinstein and Terrasa (I will have her testimony published tomorrow).

Here is that testimony from Jon Weinstein on January 18th before the Howard County Council:

A few statements he made in his testimony include:

  • “…but it’s clear that all candidates who meet the qualifying requirements are eligible for immediate matching funds, dispersement for both Primaries and the General Election”
  • “The August date in the enacted law is only related to the General Election and was added as an amendment to allow for independent candidates who qualify for the program to do so by that filing deadline since they would not have participated in a primary”
  • “I have spoken to three out of my four council colleagues: Delegate Jen Terrasa also a co-author to this legislation, Mary Kay Sigity and Greg Fox and they agree, plain and simple”

You can view all testimony made on January 18th here: https://howardcounty.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=4829

There appears to be universal support to correct this issue and release the funds to candidates that have qualified. All testimony on January 18th was in support of correcting this legislative error.

There appears to be 3 solid votes to correct this issue as emergency legislation (Councilmembers Walsh, Jung and Yungmann). As for Councilmembers Jones and Rigby…to be honest I am not sure what their plans are or if they support fixing this issue at this time based on what I heard on January 18th. Worry not…I will share what they said on January 18th in future articles.

I will have many more posts like this with important testimony from the community. Stay tuned.

Scott E

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