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florida > The Florida Election Code > Campaign Financing

§ 106.29 Reports by political parties and affiliated party committees; restrictions on contributions and expenditures; penalties.

Overview of Statute

This statute governs the process by which political parties and affiliated party committees file contribution and expenditure reports. It also provides an overview of restrictions on contributions and expenditures.

Statute

(1) The state executive committee and each county executive committee of each political party and any affiliated party committee regulated by chapter 103 shall file regular reports of all contributions received and all expenditures made by such committee. However, the reports shall not include contributions and expenditures that are reported to the Federal Election Commission. In addition, when a special election is called to fill a vacancy in office, each state executive committee, each affiliated party committee, and each county executive committee making contributions or expenditures to influence the results of the special election or the preceding special primary election must file campaign treasurers’ reports on the dates set by the Department of State pursuant to s. 100.111. Such reports shall contain the same information as do reports required of candidates by s. 106.07 and shall be filed on the 10th day following the end of each calendar quarter, except that, during the period from the last day for candidate qualifying until the general election, such reports shall be filed on the Friday immediately preceding each special primary election, special election, primary election, and general election. In addition to the reports filed under this section, the state executive committee, each county executive committee, and each affiliated party committee shall file a copy of each prior written acceptance of an in-kind contribution given by the committee during the preceding calendar quarter as required under s.106.08(6). Each state executive committee and affiliated party committee shall file its reports with the Division of Elections. Each county executive committee shall file its reports with the supervisor of elections in the county in which such committee exists. Any state or county executive committee or affiliated party committee failing to file a report on the designated due date shall be subject to a fine as provided in subsection (3). No separate fine shall be assessed for failure to file a copy of any report required by this section.

(2) The chair and treasurer of each state or county executive committee shall certify as to the correctness of each report filed by them on behalf of such committee. The leader and treasurer of each affiliated party committee under s. 103.092 shall certify as to the correctness of each report filed by them on behalf of such committee. Any committee chair, leader, or treasurer who certifies the correctness of any report while knowing that such report is incorrect, false, or incomplete commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(3)
(a) Any state or county executive committee or affiliated party committee failing to file a report on the designated due date shall be subject to a fine as provided in paragraph (b) for each late day. The fine shall be assessed by the filing officer, and the moneys collected shall be deposited in the General Revenue Fund.

(b) Upon determining that a report is late, the filing officer shall immediately notify the chair of the executive committee or the leader of the affiliated party committee as defined in s. 103.092 as to the failure to file a report by the designated due date and that a fine is being assessed for each late day. The fine shall be $1,000 for a state executive committee, $1,000 for an affiliated party committee, and $50 for a county executive committee, per day for each late day, not to exceed 25 percent of the total receipts or expenditures, whichever is greater, for the period covered by the late report. However, if an executive committee or an affiliated party committee fails to file a report on the Friday immediately preceding the special election or general election, the fine shall be $10,000 per day for each day a state executive committee is late, $10,000 per day for each day an affiliated party committee is late, and $500 per day for each day a county executive committee is late. Upon receipt of the report, the filing officer shall determine the amount of the fine which is due and shall notify the chair or leader as defined in s. 103.092. Notice is deemed complete upon proof of delivery of written notice to the mailing or street address on record with the filing officer. The filing officer shall determine the amount of the fine due based upon the earliest of the following:

1. When the report is actually received by such officer.
2. When the report is postmarked.
3. When the certificate of mailing is dated.
4. When the receipt from an established courier company is dated.
5. When the electronic receipt issued pursuant to s. 106.0705 is dated.

Such fine shall be paid to the filing officer within 20 days after receipt of the notice of payment due, unless appeal is made to the Florida Elections Commission pursuant to paragraph (c). An officer or member of an executive committee shall not be personally liable for such fine.

(c) The chair of an executive committee or the leader of an affiliated party committee as defined in s. 103.092 may appeal or dispute the fine, based upon unusual circumstances surrounding the failure to file on the designated due date, and may request and shall be entitled to a hearing before the Florida Elections Commission, which shall have the authority to waive the fine in whole or in part. Any such request shall be made within 20 days after receipt of the notice of payment due. In such case, the chair of the executive committee or the leader of the affiliated party committee as defined in s. 103.092 shall, within the 20-day period, notify the filing officer in writing of his or her intention to bring the matter before the commission.
(d) The appropriate filing officer shall notify the Florida Elections Commission of the repeated late filing by an executive committee or affiliated party committee, the failure of an executive committee or affiliated party committee to file a report after notice, or the failure to pay the fine imposed.
(4) Any contribution received by a state or county executive committee or affiliated party committee less than 5 days before an election shall not be used or expended in behalf of any candidate, issue, affiliated party committee, or political party participating in such election.
(5) No state or county executive committee or affiliated party committee, in the furtherance of any candidate or political party, directly or indirectly, shall give, pay, or expend any money, give or pay anything of value, authorize any expenditure, or become pecuniarily liable for any expenditure prohibited by this chapter. However, the contribution of funds by one executive committee to another or to established party organizations for legitimate party or campaign purposes is not prohibited, but all such contributions shall be recorded and accounted for in the reports of the contributor and recipient.
(6)
(a) The national, state, and county executive committees of a political party and affiliated party committees may not contribute to any candidate any amount in excess of the limits contained in s. 106.08(2), and all contributions required to be reported under s. 106.08(2) by the national executive committee of a political party shall be reported by the state executive committee of that political party.
(b) A violation of the contribution limits contained in s. 106.08(2) is a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. A civil penalty equal to three times the amount in excess of the limits contained in s. 106.08(2) shall be assessed against any executive committee found in violation thereof.

History:

s. 29, ch. 73-128; s. 14, ch. 74-200; s. 62, ch. 77-175; s. 65, ch. 79-400; ss. 14, 33, ch. 81-304; s. 1, ch. 82-46; s. 13, ch. 82-143; s. 2, ch. 83-265; s. 40, ch. 84-302; s. 23, ch. 89-256; s. 39, ch. 90-315; ss. 10, 14, ch. 90-338; ss. 8, 12, ch. 91-107; s. 3, ch. 95-140; s. 653, ch. 95-147; s. 8, ch. 97-13; ss. 23, 24, ch. 2004-252; s. 26, ch. 2005-286; s. 2, ch. 2005-360; ss. 26, 30, ch. 2011-6; s. 73, ch. 2011-40; HJR 7105, 2011 Regular Session.

Definition [Department]

The Department of State.

Definition [Supervisor]

The supervisor of elections.

Definition [Expenditure]

(a) A purchase, payment, distribution, loan, advance, transfer of funds by a campaign treasurer or deputy campaign treasurer between a primary depository and a separate interest-bearing account or certificate of deposit, or gift of money or anything of value made for the purpose of influencing the results of an election or making an electioneering communication. However, “expenditure” does not include a purchase, payment, distribution, loan, advance, or gift of money or anything of value made for the purpose of influencing the results of an election when made by an organization, in existence before the time during which a candidate qualifies or an issue is placed on the ballot for that election, for the purpose of printing or distributing such organization’s newsletter, containing a statement by such organization in support of or opposition to a candidate or issue, which newsletter is distributed only to members of such organization.

(b) As used in chapter 106, an “expenditure” for an electioneering communication is made when the earliest of the following occurs:

1. A person enters into a contract for applicable goods or services;

2. A person makes payment, in whole or in part, for the production or public dissemination of applicable goods or services; or

3. The electioneering communication is publicly disseminated.

Definition [Contribution]

(a) A gift, subscription, conveyance, deposit, loan, payment, or distribution of money or anything of value, including contributions in kind having an attributable monetary value in any form, made for the purpose of influencing the results of an election or making an electioneering communication.

(b) A transfer of funds between political committees, between electioneering communications organizations, or between any combination of these groups.

(c) The payment, by a person other than a candidate or political committee, of compensation for the personal services of another person which are rendered to a candidate or political committee without charge to the candidate or committee for such services.

(d) The transfer of funds by a campaign treasurer or deputy campaign treasurer between a primary depository and a separate interest-bearing account or certificate of deposit, and the term includes interest earned on such account or certificate.

Notwithstanding the foregoing meanings of “contribution,” the term may not be construed to include services, including, but not limited to, legal and accounting services, provided without compensation by individuals volunteering a portion or all of their time on behalf of a candidate or political committee or editorial endorsements.

Definition [Filing Officer]

The person before whom a candidate qualifies or the agency or officer with whom a political committee or an electioneering communications organization registers.

Definition [General Election]

An election held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November in the even-numbered years, for the purpose of filling national, state, county, and district offices and for voting on constitutional amendments not otherwise provided for by law.

Definition [Primary Election]

An election held preceding the general election for the purpose of nominating a party nominee to be voted for in the general election to fill a national, state, county, or district office.

Definition [Special Election]

A special election called for the purpose of voting on a party nominee to fill a vacancy in the national, state, county, or district office.

Definition [Campaign Treasurer]

An individual appointed by a candidate or political committee as provided in chapter 106.

Definition [Special Primary Election]

A special nomination election designated by the Governor, called for the purpose of nominating a party nominee to be voted on in a general or special election.

Definition [Issue]

A proposition that is required by the State Constitution, by law or resolution of the Legislature, or by the charter, ordinance, or resolution of a political subdivision of this state to be submitted to the electors for their approval or rejection at an election, or a proposition for which a petition is circulated in order to have such proposition placed on the ballot at an election.

Definition [Person]

An individual or a corporation, association, firm, partnership, joint venture, joint stock company, club, organization, estate, trust, business trust, syndicate, or other combination of individuals having collective capacity. The term includes a political party, affiliated party committee, or political committee.

Definition [Division]

The Division of Elections of the Department of State.

Definition [Election]

Any primary election, special primary election, special election, general election, or presidential preference primary election.

Definition [Candidate]

Any person to whom any one or more of the following applies:

(a) Any person who seeks to qualify for nomination or election by means of the petitioning process.
(b) Any person who seeks to qualify for election as a write-in candidate.
(c) Any person who receives contributions or makes expenditures, or gives his or her consent for any other person to receive contributions or make expenditures, with a view to bringing about his or her nomination or election to, or retention in, public office.
(d) Any person who appoints a treasurer and designates a primary depository.
(e) Any person who files qualification papers and subscribes to a candidate’s oath as required by law.
This definition does not include any candidate for a political party executive committee.

Cases

florida Cases

Out-of-State Cases

Federal Cases

Regulations & Guidance

Additional Resources

Further Reading

  • Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 105, Campaign fund raisers

  • Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 112, Reports by political parties

  • Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 221, Offenses relating to campaign financing-Certifying correctness of incorrect, false, or incomplete report

  • Lobbying, PACs, and Campaign Finance s 11:87, Reporting contributions or expenditures-Individuals

  • Lobbying, PACs, and Campaign Finance s 11:91. Contributions or expenditures to political parties; issue advocacy; corporate activity on referenda; independent expenditures

  • 0050 SURVEYS 2; Limits on Contributions to Political Parties