Former Howard County Councilmember and current Delegate Jen Terrasa in favor of emergency legislation to fix the Citizens’ Election Fund

The is my second article in a 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 video testimony this morning is from former Howard County Council member (from District 3) and current Delegate (District 13) Jen Terrasa. This former Councilmember was the co-author if the original legislation (along with former Councilmember Jon Weinstein). You would be hard pressed to find better people with knowledge of the intent of the original legislation than Terrasa and Weinstein.

Here is that testimony from Jen Terrasa on January 18th before the Howard County Council:

A few statements she made in her testimony that I would like to highlight include:

  • “…however from my perspective as one of the lead sponsors of the legislation the way it is being interpreted doesn’t make sense at all and could undermine the very program we worked so hard to set up”
  • “It is clear that the bill was intended to cover Primary elections. You can see this in the plain language of the bill. Clearly we intended to include Primary elections and interpretation that we were referring to the August before the Primary makes no sense”
  • “Basically I would urge you to work with the Office of Law as Greg Fox mentioned to take another look at this for interpretation. If you are not able to work with the Office of Law I would urge the Council to pass this as emergency legislation”

As a reminder…Jen Terrasa was a 3 term Howard County Councilmember from District 3 (the current seat held by Christiana Rigby). I think this is an important fact to note in this article.

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.

Even County Executive Calvin Ball recently said “I am wholly supportive of any measure that clarifies the process through which the Citizens’ Election Fund program is administered that is done in a manner that is consistent with the intent of the legislation that created the fund” – See Full Statement Here

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.

Jones and Rigby have not made any public statements (that I have seen) in support of CB 6-22 to correct this issue with the CEF. Until they do, I will have many more posts like this with important testimony from the community.

I highly recommend that everyone in support of “Fixing The Fund” or “Freeing The Fund” or just asking the Councilmembers to do the right thing on this issue…send your emails here:

councilmail@howardcountymd.gov
ojones@howardcountymd.gov
crigby@howardcountymd.gov

Scott E

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