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florida > The Florida Election Code > Campaign Financing

§ 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.

Statute

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. 106.30106.36, 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:

(1) Agree to abide by the expenditure limits provided in s. 106.34.

(2)

(a) Raise contributions as follows:

1. One hundred fifty thousand dollars for a candidate for Governor.
2. One hundred thousand dollars for a candidate for Cabinet office.
(b) Contributions from individuals who at the time of contributing are not state residents may not be used to meet the threshold amounts in paragraph (a). For purposes of this paragraph, any person validly registered to vote in this state shall be considered a state resident.
(3) Limit loans or contributions from the candidate’s personal funds to $25,000 and contributions from national, state, and county executive committees of a political party to $250,000 in the aggregate, which loans or contributions do not qualify for meeting the threshold amounts in subsection (2).
(4) Submit to a postelection audit of the campaign account by the division.

History:

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.

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. Fla. Stat. § 106.011(10).

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. Fla. Stat. § 106.011(5).

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. Fla. Stat. § 106.011(11).

Definition [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).

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. Fla. Stat. § 106.011(14).

Definition [Election]

Any primary election, special primary election, special election, general election, or presidential preference primary election. Fla. Stat. § 97.021(12).

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. Fla. Stat. § 97.021(6).

Cases

florida Cases

Out-of-State Cases

Federal Cases

Case Name: Scott v. Roberts

Citation: 612 F.3d 1279

Federal Circuit Court: 11th Circuit Court

Year: 2010

Case URL: https://www.ravellaw.com/opinions/7987469d469c0ce131f9427442e87308

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

Additional Resources

Further Reading

  • 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