The candidates for the six statewide offices in Massachusetts
(Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Treasurer, Secretary and Auditor) are eligible to
receive partial public funding of their campaigns in return for agreeing to spending limits.
This program has been in existence in some form since the 1970s. The program is voluntary,
however, all candidates, must declare whether they plan to participate by the time they file nomination
papers. Any candidate who does not file the required form with OCPF is barred from appearing
on the ballot.
The spending limits are set by M.G.L. Chapter 55C and vary according to
the office sought, but they are subject to adjustment: those who do not choose to participate must, if
they are opposed by a participating candidate, notify OCPF of their anticipated maximum spending in
the upcoming campaign. If the planned spending by a non-participant is higher than the
participant's statutory limit for that office, the participant's limit is increased to the
highest figure cited by a non-participant.
Massachusetts does not have a similar program for other non-statewide candidates, so currently there
are no public funds available to candidates for other offices, such as the Legislature or county