What is the matching funds program?
The matching funds program was enacted by Los Angeles voters and provides limited public funding to help qualified City candidates run their campaigns for elected office without relying on large donors or excessive fundraising. To receive funding, candidates must agree to participate in the program and must meet the program’s qualification requirements and spending limits. Once they are eligible, candidates may receive public dollars as a match to qualifying campaign contributions from individuals.
How much public funding can I receive?
Qualified contributions from individuals are matched at a 6:1 rate. If you meet the program requirements, the City will pay you $6 in public funds for every matchable dollar of a qualified contribution that you receive.
The most that may be matched per contributor is $129 for City council candidates. Therefore, the amount of matching funds that you may receive per contributor is limited. The total amount of matching funds that you may receive is also limited.
2024 PAYMENT MAXIMUMS
Per contributor Per candidate in primary election Per candidate in general election City Council $129 $174,000 $217,000
How can I participate?
You may elect to participate when you file Form 20 (Acceptance or Rejection of Matching Funds). This form acts as an agreement to accept or reject matching funds and, if you accept, to abide by the program rules. The agreement is binding for both the primary election and the general election (if necessary).
Is there a deadline to agree to participate?
Form 20 may be filed any time after your fundraising paperwork has been filed with the Ethics Commission. For the 2024 election, City council candidates may file fundraising paperwork beginning September 5, 2022. All candidates must file Form 20 by 12:00 p.m. on November 11, 2023.
How do I qualify for matching funds?
You must do all of the following:
2024 CUMULATIVE THRESHOLDS
Minimum cumulative threshold Maximum amount per contributor that counts toward the threshold City Council $12,857 $129
2024 EXPENDITURE CEILINGS
Primary Election General Election City Council $618,000 $515,000
How do I request matching funds?
You must file a claim:
Tip: A claim must usually identify at least $10,000 in matchable portions of qualified contributions.
Tip: Ask the Ethics Commission for guidance in completing your Form 22.
Tip: A contributor certification is required for every contribution you receive, regardless of whether you use it for matching funds purposes.
Tip: Ask the Ethics Commission to review your paper and electronic contributor certifications, to ensure that they comply with legal requirements.
Tip: You may submit a Form 22 any time after you submit your Form 20. Qualification claims must be submitted by the date of the election. Payment claims may be submitted up to three months after the election.
When will I receive matching funds?
The Ethics Commission is required to review your claim and determine how much public funding should be paid. The determination is made after the Ethics Commission receives all necessary and required documentation for your claim. Payments are issued by the Controller’s office within two business days after it receives authorization from the Ethics Commission.
Tip : Even if you have met all other qualification requirements, matching funds payments cannot be issued until after the City Clerk’s office determines which names will appear on the ballot, which is expected to happen by 1/26/23.
This is only an overview; additional City and state laws apply. Anyone who participates in City elections is responsible for understanding and complying with all of the laws, whether referred to here or not.