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Florida Passes Campaign Finance Reform Law




by:
Hayden R. Dempsey
Greenberg Traurig, LLP - Tallahassee Office

 
June 13, 2013

Previously published on June 12, 2013

The bill (Chapter 2013-37, L.O.F.) is an omnibus campaign finance bill that makes the following substantive changes:

  • Eliminates committees of continuous existence (CCE) and provides for an orderly transition process through de-certification on September 30, 2013; retains the $250 aggregate reporting limit for former CCEs reporting “multiple uniform contributions” (formerly “member dues”) as a political committee (PC).

  • Modifies the current $500 per election individual limit on contributions to candidates as follows: $3,000 for statewide and Florida Supreme Court retention candidates; $1,000 for other candidates.

  • Provides for unlimited contributions to PCs supporting or opposing candidates, in lieu of the current $500/election limit.

  • Removes the “3-pack” exemption that allows PCs to run ads jointly endorsing three (3) or more candidates outside the scope of the contribution limits in ch. 106, F.S.

  • Authorizes county political party executive committees to contribute an aggregate of $50,000 to each non-statewide candidate, in addition to the aggregate $50,000 that all other party committees may contribute.

  • Limits to $25,000 political party turn backs from candidate surplus funds.

  • Increases the frequency of campaign finance reporting for candidates and committees (excluding political party committees), with monthly reports due before state candidate qualifying in June and post-qualifying reporting as follows:

    • Statewide Candidates and Non-Local PCs/Electioneering Communication Organizations (ECOs)—

      • WEEKLY full reports of contributions and expenditures, from the end of qualifying to the FRIDAY prior to election; and,

      • DAILY contribution only reports beginning on the 10th day before the general election and ending on either the MONDAY (ECOs) or THURSDAY (statewide candidates and non-local PCs) before the general election.

    • Other Candidates and Local PCs/ECOs—

      • BI-WEEKLY beginning on the 60th day before the primary election (FRIDAY) and continuing through the FRIDAY before the general election, with an additional report due on the 25th and 11th days before each election.

  • Requires persons seeking a publicly-elected political party executive committee position who receive contributions or make expenditures to file a single campaign finance report on the FRIDAY immediately preceding the primary election.

  • Prohibits candidates who switch races from “double-dipping” contributors for maximum contributions in both races.

  • Increases the amount certain successful candidates can contribute to an office account, and expands the permissible uses of such funds.

  • Allows a successful state candidate to retain up to $20,000 of campaign funds for reelection.

  • Removes the requirement for petition candidates to pay a deferred one (1) percent election assessment before disposing of surplus funds, transferring funds to an office account, or rolling over reelection funds.

  • Reinstates sponsorship identification disclaimers for campaign fundraiser tickets and advertising.

  • Modifies the titling of campaign depositories and associated checks and debit cards, removing the requirement to include the specific words “Campaign Account.”

These provisions were approved by the Governor and take effect on November 1, 2013, unless otherwise provided.

Vote: Senate 37-2; House 79-34



 

The views expressed in this document are solely the views of the author and not Martindale-Hubbell. This document is intended for informational purposes only and is not legal advice or a substitute for consultation with a licensed legal professional in a particular case or circumstance.
 

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