§ 106.33 Election campaign financing; eligibility.
Overview of Statute
This statute governs the eligibility requirements for public financing in Florida elections, which include limits on expenditures and specified amounts that need to be raised from contributions.
Each candidate for the office of Governor or member of the Cabinet who desires to receive contributions from the 1Election Campaign Financing Trust Fund, upon qualifying for office, shall file a request for such contributions with the filing officer on forms provided by the Division of Elections. If a candidate requesting contributions from the fund desires to have such funds distributed by electronic fund transfers, the request shall include information necessary to implement that procedure. For the purposes of ss. 106.30–106.36, the respective candidates running for Governor and Lieutenant Governor on the same ticket shall be considered as a single candidate. To be eligible to receive contributions from the fund, a candidate may not be an unopposed candidate as defined in s. 106.011 and must:
(a) Raise contributions as follows:
s. 1, ch. 86-276; s. 40, ch. 90-315; s. 20, ch. 91-107; s. 68, ch. 2001-40; s. 47, ch. 2005-278; s. 27, ch. 2013-37.
- Campaign Finance
- Expenditure limits
- Other restrictions on participating candidates
- Public Financing
1. Definition for 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. Fla. Stat. § 106.011(10).
2. Definition for 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. Fla. Stat. § 106.011(5).
3. Definition for 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. Fla. Stat. § 106.011(11).
4. Definition for Unopposed Candidate
A candidate for nomination or election to an office who, after the last day on which a person, including a write-in candidate, may qualify, is without opposition in the election at which the office is to be filled or who is without such opposition after such date as a result of a primary election or of withdrawal by other candidates seeking the same office. A candidate is not an unopposed candidate if there is a vacancy to be filled under s. 100.111(3), if there is a legal proceeding pending regarding the right to a ballot position for the office sought by the candidate, or if the candidate is seeking retention as a justice or judge. Fla. Stat. § 106.011(18).
5. Definition for 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. Fla. Stat. § 106.011(14).
6. Definition for Division
The Division of Elections of the Department of State. Fla. Stat. § 97.021(8).
7. Definition for Election
Any primary election, special primary election, special election, general election, or presidential preference primary election. Fla. Stat. § 97.021(12).
8. Definition for Candidate
Any person to whom any one or more of the following applies:
Case Name: Connor v. Division of Elections
Citation: 643 So.2d 75
Case Summary: Connor v. Division of Elections held that doubled public campaign financing matching funds were not limited to the initial $150,000 collected by the gubernatorial candidate.
Case Name: Scott v. Roberts
Citation: 612 F.3d 1279
Federal Circuit Court: 11th Circuit Court
Case Summary: Scott v. Roberts held that because the candidate not participating in the state's public financing scheme established that he was entitled to a preliminary injunction, since his claim regarding the state's public financing system was likely to be successful on the merits, the state was preliminarily enjoined from releasing public funds to the participating candidate.
Regulations & Guidance
Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 113, Generally; eligibility requirements
Fla. Jur. 2d Elections s 115, Nonparticipating candidate exceeding limits
Lobbying, PACs, and Campaign Finance s 11:111, Public financing-Overview