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The Florida Statutes

The 2014 Florida Statutes

Title IX
ELECTORS AND ELECTIONS
Chapter 106
CAMPAIGN FINANCING
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CHAPTER 106
CHAPTER 106
CAMPAIGN FINANCING
106.011 Definitions.
106.021 Campaign treasurers; deputies; primary and secondary depositories.
106.022 Appointment of a registered agent; duties.
106.023 Statement of candidate.
106.025 Campaign fund raisers.
106.03 Registration of political committees and electioneering communications organizations.
106.05 Deposit of contributions; statement of campaign treasurer.
106.055 Valuation of in-kind contributions.
106.06 Treasurer to keep records; inspections.
106.07 Reports; certification and filing.
106.0701 Solicitation of contributions on behalf of s. 527 or s. 501(c)(4) organizations; reporting requirements; civil penalty; exemption.
106.0702 Reporting; political party executive committee candidates.
106.0703 Electioneering communications organizations; reporting requirements; certification and filing; penalties.
106.0705 Electronic filing of campaign treasurer’s reports.
106.0706 Electronic filing of campaign finance reports; public records exemption.
106.071 Independent expenditures; electioneering communications; reports; disclaimers.
106.075 Elected officials; report of loans made in year preceding election; limitation on contributions to pay loans.
106.08 Contributions; limitations on.
106.087 Independent expenditures; contribution limits; restrictions on political parties and political committees.
106.088 Independent expenditures; contribution limits; restrictions on affiliated party committees.
106.09 Cash contributions and contribution by cashier’s checks.
106.11 Expenses of and expenditures by candidates and political committees.
106.113 Expenditures by local governments.
106.12 Petty cash funds allowed.
106.125 Credit cards; conditions on use.
106.14 Utilities; deposits; prior authorization.
106.1405 Use of campaign funds.
106.141 Disposition of surplus funds by candidates.
106.143 Political advertisements circulated prior to election; requirements.
106.1435 Usage and removal of political campaign advertisements.
106.1437 Miscellaneous advertisements.
106.1439 Electioneering communications; disclaimers.
106.147 Telephone solicitation; disclosure requirements; prohibitions; exemptions; penalties.
106.1475 Telephone solicitation; registered agent requirements; penalty.
106.15 Certain acts prohibited.
106.16 Limitation on certain rates and charges.
106.161 Air time available at the lowest unit rate.
106.165 Use of closed captioning and descriptive narrative in all television broadcasts.
106.17 Polls and surveys relating to candidacies.
106.18 When a candidate’s name to be omitted from ballot.
106.19 Violations by candidates, persons connected with campaigns, and political committees.
106.191 Signatures gathered for initiative petition; effect of ch. 97-13.
106.21 Certificates of election not to be issued upon conviction.
106.22 Duties of the Division of Elections.
106.23 Powers of the Division of Elections.
106.24 Florida Elections Commission; membership; powers; duties.
106.25 Reports of alleged violations to Florida Elections Commission; disposition of findings.
106.26 Powers of commission; rights and responsibilities of parties; findings by commission.
106.265 Civil penalties.
106.27 Determinations by commission; legal disposition.
106.28 Limitation of actions.
106.29 Reports by political parties and affiliated party committees; restrictions on contributions and expenditures; penalties.
106.295 Leadership fund.
106.30 Short title.
106.31 Legislative intent.
106.32 Election Campaign Financing Trust Fund.
106.33 Election campaign financing; eligibility.
106.34 Expenditure limits.
106.35 Distribution of funds.
106.353 Candidates voluntarily abiding by election campaign financing limits but not requesting public funds; irrevocable statement required; penalty.
106.355 Nonparticipating candidate exceeding limits.
106.36 Penalties; fines.
106.011 Definitions.As used in this chapter, the following terms have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
(1) “Campaign fund raiser” means an affair held to raise funds to be used in a campaign for public office.
(2) “Campaign treasurer” means an individual appointed by a candidate or political committee as provided in this chapter.
(3) “Candidate” means a person to whom any of the following applies:
(a) A person who seeks to qualify for nomination or election by means of the petitioning process.
(b) A person who seeks to qualify for election as a write-in candidate.
(c) A person who receives contributions or makes expenditures, or consents for any other person to receive contributions or make expenditures, with a view to bring about his or her nomination or election to, or retention in, public office.
(d) A person who appoints a treasurer and designates a primary depository.
(e) A person who files qualification papers and subscribes to a candidate’s oath as required by law.

However, this definition does not include any candidate for a political party executive committee. Expenditures related to potential candidate polls as provided in s. 106.17 are not contributions or expenditures for purposes of this subsection.

(4) “Communications media” means broadcasting stations, newspapers, magazines, outdoor advertising facilities, printers, direct mail, advertising agencies, the Internet, and telephone companies; but with respect to telephones, an expenditure is deemed to be an expenditure for the use of communications media only if made for the costs of telephones, paid telephonists, or automatic telephone equipment to be used by a candidate or a political committee to communicate with potential voters but excluding the costs of telephones incurred by a volunteer for use of telephones by such volunteer; however, with respect to the Internet, an expenditure is deemed an expenditure for use of communications media only if made for the cost of creating or disseminating a message on a computer information system accessible by more than one person but excluding internal communications of a campaign or of any group.
(5) “Contribution” means:
(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.

(6) “Division” means the Division of Elections of the Department of State.
(7) “Election” means a primary election, special primary election, general election, special election, or municipal election held in this state for the purpose of nominating or electing candidates to public office, choosing delegates to the national nominating conventions of political parties, selecting a member of a political party executive committee, or submitting an issue to the electors for their approval or rejection.
(8)(a) “Electioneering communication” means communication that is publicly distributed by a television station, radio station, cable television system, satellite system, newspaper, magazine, direct mail, or telephone and that:
1. Refers to or depicts a clearly identified candidate for office without expressly advocating the election or defeat of a candidate but that is susceptible of no reasonable interpretation other than an appeal to vote for or against a specific candidate;
2. Is made within 30 days before a primary or special primary election or 60 days before any other election for the office sought by the candidate; and
3. Is targeted to the relevant electorate in the geographic area the candidate would represent if elected.
(b) The term “electioneering communication” does not include:
1. A communication disseminated through a means of communication other than a television station, radio station, cable television system, satellite system, newspaper, magazine, direct mail, telephone, or statement or depiction by an organization, in existence before the time during which a candidate named or depicted qualifies for that election, made in that organization’s newsletter, which newsletter is distributed only to members of that organization.
2. A communication in a news story, commentary, or editorial distributed through the facilities of a radio station, television station, cable television system, or satellite system, unless the facilities are owned or controlled by a political party, political committee, or candidate. A news story distributed through the facilities owned or controlled by a political party, political committee, or candidate may nevertheless be exempt if it represents a bona fide news account communicated through a licensed broadcasting facility and the communication is part of a general pattern of campaign-related news accounts that give reasonably equal coverage to all opposing candidates in the area.
3. A communication that constitutes a public debate or forum that includes at least two opposing candidates for an office or one advocate and one opponent of an issue, or that solely promotes such a debate or forum and is made by or on behalf of the person sponsoring the debate or forum, provided that:
a. The staging organization is either:
(I) A charitable organization that does not make other electioneering communications and does not otherwise support or oppose any political candidate or political party; or
(II) A newspaper, radio station, television station, or other recognized news medium; and
b. The staging organization does not structure the debate to promote or advance one candidate or issue position over another.
(c) For purposes of this chapter, an expenditure made for, or in furtherance of, an electioneering communication is not considered a contribution to or on behalf of any candidate.
(d) For purposes of this chapter, an electioneering communication does not constitute an independent expenditure and is not subject to the limitations applicable to independent expenditures.
(9) “Electioneering communications organization” means any group, other than a political party, affiliated party committee, or political committee, whose election-related activities are limited to making expenditures for electioneering communications or accepting contributions for the purpose of making electioneering communications and whose activities would not otherwise require the group to register as a political party or political committee under this chapter.
(10)(a) “Expenditure” means 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 this chapter, 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.
(11) “Filing officer” means the person before whom a candidate qualifies or the agency or officer with whom a political committee or an electioneering communications organization registers.
(12)(a) “Independent expenditure” means an expenditure by a person for the purpose of expressly advocating the election or defeat of a candidate or the approval or rejection of an issue, which expenditure is not controlled by, coordinated with, or made upon consultation with, any candidate, political committee, or agent of such candidate or committee. An expenditure for such purpose by a person having a contract with the candidate, political committee, or agent of such candidate or committee in a given election period is not an independent expenditure.
(b) An expenditure for the purpose of expressly advocating the election or defeat of a candidate which is made by the national, state, or county executive committee of a political party, including any subordinate committee of the political party, an affiliated party committee, a political committee, or any other person is not considered an independent expenditure if the committee or person:
1. Communicates with the candidate, the candidate’s campaign, or an agent of the candidate acting on behalf of the candidate, including a pollster, media consultant, advertising agency, vendor, advisor, or staff member, concerning the preparation of, use of, or payment for, the specific expenditure or advertising campaign at issue;
2. Makes a payment in cooperation, consultation, or concert with, at the request or suggestion of, or pursuant to a general or particular understanding with the candidate, the candidate’s campaign, a political committee supporting the candidate, or an agent of the candidate relating to the specific expenditure or advertising campaign at issue;
3. Makes a payment for the dissemination, distribution, or republication, in whole or in part, of a broadcast or a written, graphic, or other form of campaign material prepared by the candidate, the candidate’s campaign, or an agent of the candidate, including a pollster, media consultant, advertising agency, vendor, advisor, or staff member;
4. Makes a payment based on information about the candidate’s plans, projects, or needs communicated to a member of the committee or person by the candidate or an agent of the candidate, provided the committee or person uses the information in any way, in whole or in part, either directly or indirectly, to design, prepare, or pay for the specific expenditure or advertising campaign at issue;
5. After the last day of the qualifying period prescribed for the candidate, consults about the candidate’s plans, projects, or needs in connection with the candidate’s pursuit of election to office and the information is used in any way to plan, create, design, or prepare an independent expenditure or advertising campaign, with:
a. An officer, director, employee, or agent of a national, state, or county executive committee of a political party or an affiliated party committee that has made or intends to make expenditures in connection with or contributions to the candidate; or
b. A person whose professional services have been retained by a national, state, or county executive committee of a political party or an affiliated party committee that has made or intends to make expenditures in connection with or contributions to the candidate;
6. After the last day of the qualifying period prescribed for the candidate, retains the professional services of a person also providing those services to the candidate in connection with the candidate’s pursuit of election to office; or
7. Arranges, coordinates, or directs the expenditure, in any way, with the candidate or an agent of the candidate.
(13) “Issue” means 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.
(14) “Person” means 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.
(15) “Political advertisement” means a paid expression in a communications medium prescribed in subsection (4), whether radio, television, newspaper, magazine, periodical, campaign literature, direct mail, or display or by means other than the spoken word in direct conversation, which expressly advocates the election or defeat of a candidate or the approval or rejection of an issue. However, political advertisement does not include:
(a) A statement by an organization, in existence before the time during which a candidate qualifies or an issue is placed on the ballot for that election, in support of or opposition to a candidate or issue, in that organization’s newsletter, which newsletter is distributed only to the members of that organization.
(b) Editorial endorsements by a newspaper, a radio or television station, or any other recognized news medium.
(16)(a) “Political committee” means:
1. A combination of two or more individuals, or a person other than an individual, that, in an aggregate amount in excess of $500 during a single calendar year:
a. Accepts contributions for the purpose of making contributions to any candidate, political committee, affiliated party committee, or political party;
b. Accepts contributions for the purpose of expressly advocating the election or defeat of a candidate or the passage or defeat of an issue;
c. Makes expenditures that expressly advocate the election or defeat of a candidate or the passage or defeat of an issue; or
d. Makes contributions to a common fund, other than a joint checking account between spouses, from which contributions are made to any candidate, political committee, affiliated party committee, or political party;
2. The sponsor of a proposed constitutional amendment by initiative who intends to seek the signatures of registered electors.
(b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), the following entities are not considered political committees for purposes of this chapter:
1. National political parties, the state and county executive committees of political parties, and affiliated party committees regulated by chapter 103.
2. Corporations regulated by chapter 607 or chapter 617 or other business entities formed for purposes other than to support or oppose issues or candidates, if their political activities are limited to contributions to candidates, political parties, affiliated party committees, or political committees or expenditures in support of or opposition to an issue from corporate or business funds and if no contributions are received by such corporations or business entities.
3. Electioneering communications organizations as defined in subsection (9).
(17) “Public office” means a state, county, municipal, or school or other district office or position that is filled by vote of the electors.
(18) “Unopposed candidate” means 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.
History.s. 1, ch. 73-128; s. 1, ch. 74-200; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 39, ch. 77-175; s. 2, ch. 79-157; ss. 6, 17, ch. 79-365; s. 1, ch. 79-378; s. 22, ch. 81-304; s. 34, ch. 84-302; s. 4, ch. 85-226; s. 2, ch. 89-256; s. 1, ch. 89-537; s. 24, ch. 90-315; s. 9, ch. 91-107; s. 636, ch. 95-147; s. 2, ch. 97-13; s. 7, ch. 99-355; s. 1, ch. 2002-197; s. 2, ch. 2004-252; s. 1, ch. 2006-300; s. 19, ch. 2010-167; ss. 4, 30, ch. 2011-6; s. 52, ch. 2011-40; HJR 7105, 2011 Regular Session; s. 5, ch. 2012-5; s. 3, ch. 2013-37; s. 9, ch. 2014-17.
106.021 Campaign treasurers; deputies; primary and secondary depositories.
(1)(a) Each candidate for nomination or election to office and each political committee shall appoint a campaign treasurer. Each person who seeks to qualify for nomination or election to, or retention in, office shall appoint a campaign treasurer and designate a primary campaign depository before qualifying for office. Any person who seeks to qualify for election or nomination to any office by means of the petitioning process shall appoint a treasurer and designate a primary depository on or before the date he or she obtains the petitions. At the same time a candidate designates a campaign depository and appoints a treasurer, the candidate shall also designate the office for which he or she is a candidate. If the candidate is running for an office that will be grouped on the ballot with two or more similar offices to be filled at the same election, the candidate must indicate for which group or district office he or she is running. This subsection does not prohibit a candidate, at a later date, from changing the designation of the office for which he or she is a candidate. However, if a candidate changes the designated office for which he or she is a candidate, the candidate must notify all contributors in writing of the intent to seek a different office and offer to return pro rata, upon their request, those contributions given in support of the original office sought. This notification shall be given within 15 days after the filing of the change of designation and shall include a standard form developed by the Division of Elections for requesting the return of contributions. The notice requirement does not apply to any change in a numerical designation resulting solely from redistricting. If, within 30 days after being notified by the candidate of the intent to seek a different office, the contributor notifies the candidate in writing that the contributor wishes his or her contribution to be returned, the candidate shall return the contribution, on a pro rata basis, calculated as of the date the change of designation is filed. Up to a maximum of the contribution limits specified in s. 106.08, a candidate who runs for an office other than the office originally designated may use any contribution that a donor does not request be returned within the 30-day period for the newly designated office, provided the candidate disposes of any amount exceeding the contribution limit pursuant to the options in s. 106.11(5)(b) and (c) or s. 106.141(4)(a)1., 2., or 4.; notwithstanding, the full amount of the contribution for the original office shall count toward the contribution limits specified in s. 106.08 for the newly designated office. A person may not accept any contribution or make any expenditure with a view to bringing about his or her nomination, election, or retention in public office, or authorize another to accept such contributions or make such expenditure on the person’s behalf, unless such person has appointed a campaign treasurer and designated a primary campaign depository. A candidate for an office voted upon statewide may appoint not more than 15 deputy campaign treasurers, and any other candidate or political committee may appoint not more than 3 deputy campaign treasurers. The names and addresses of the campaign treasurer and deputy campaign treasurers so appointed shall be filed with the officer before whom such candidate is required to qualify or with whom such political committee is required to register pursuant to s. 106.03.
(b) Except as provided in paragraph (d), each candidate and each political committee shall also designate one primary campaign depository for the purpose of depositing all contributions received, and disbursing all expenditures made, by the candidate or political committee. The candidate or political committee may also designate one secondary depository in each county in which an election is held in which the candidate or committee participates. Secondary depositories shall be for the sole purpose of depositing contributions and forwarding the deposits to the primary campaign depository. Any bank, savings and loan association, or credit union authorized to transact business in this state may be designated as a campaign depository. The candidate or political committee shall file the name and address of each primary and secondary depository so designated at the same time that, and with the same officer with whom, the candidate or committee files the name of his, her, or its campaign treasurer pursuant to paragraph (a). In addition, the campaign treasurer or a deputy campaign treasurer may deposit any funds which are in the primary campaign depository and which are not then currently needed for the disbursement of expenditures into a separate interest-bearing account in any bank, savings and loan association, or credit union authorized to transact business in this state. The separate interest-bearing account shall be designated “  (name of candidate or committee)   separate interest-bearing campaign account.” In lieu thereof, the campaign treasurer or deputy campaign treasurer may purchase a certificate of deposit with such unneeded funds in such bank, savings and loan association, or credit union. The separate interest-bearing account or certificate of deposit shall be separate from any personal or other account or certificate of deposit. Any withdrawal of the principal or earned interest or any part thereof shall only be made from the separate interest-bearing account or certificate of deposit for the purpose of transferring funds to the primary account and shall be reported as a contribution.
(c) Any campaign treasurer or deputy treasurer appointed pursuant to this section shall, before such appointment may become effective, have accepted appointment to such position in writing and filed such acceptance with the officer before whom the candidate is required to qualify or with the officer with whom the political committee is required to file reports. An individual may be appointed and serve as campaign treasurer of a candidate and a political committee or two or more candidates and political committees. A candidate may appoint herself or himself as campaign treasurer.
(d) Any political committee which deposits all contributions received in a national depository from which the political committee receives funds to contribute to state and local candidates shall not be required to designate a campaign depository in the state.
(2) A candidate or political committee may remove his, her, or its campaign treasurer or any deputy treasurer. In case of the death, resignation, or removal of a campaign treasurer before compliance with all obligations of a campaign treasurer under this chapter, the candidate or political committee shall appoint a successor and certify the name and address of the successor in the manner provided in the case of an original appointment. No resignation shall be effective until it has been submitted to the candidate or committee in writing and a copy thereof has been filed with the officer before whom the candidate is required to qualify or the officer with whom the political committee is required to file reports. No treasurer or deputy treasurer shall be deemed removed by a candidate or political committee until written notice of such removal has been given to such treasurer or deputy treasurer and has been filed with the officer before whom such candidate is required to qualify or with the officer with whom such committee is required to file reports.
(3) No contribution or expenditure, including contributions or expenditures of a candidate or of the candidate’s family, shall be directly or indirectly made or received in furtherance of the candidacy of any person for nomination or election to political office in the state or on behalf of any political committee except through the duly appointed campaign treasurer of the candidate or political committee, subject to the following exceptions:
(a) Independent expenditures;
(b) Reimbursements to a candidate or any other individual for expenses incurred in connection with the campaign or activities of the political committee by a check drawn upon the campaign account and reported pursuant to s. 106.07(4). The full name of each person to whom the candidate or other individual made payment for which reimbursement was made by check drawn upon the campaign account shall be reported pursuant to s. 106.07(4), together with the purpose of such payment;
(c) Expenditures made indirectly through a treasurer for goods or services, such as communications media placement or procurement services, campaign signs, insurance, or other expenditures that include multiple integral components as part of the expenditure and reported pursuant to s. 106.07(4)(a)13.; or
(d) Expenditures made directly by any affiliated party committee or political party regulated by chapter 103 for obtaining time, space, or services in or by any communications medium for the purpose of jointly endorsing three or more candidates, and any such expenditure may not be considered a contribution or expenditure to or on behalf of any such candidates for the purposes of this chapter.
(4) A deputy campaign treasurer may exercise any of the powers and duties of a campaign treasurer as set forth in this chapter when specifically authorized to do so by the campaign treasurer and the candidate, in the case of a candidate, or the campaign treasurer and chair of the political committee, in the case of a political committee.
(5) For purposes of appointing a campaign treasurer and designating a campaign depository, candidates for the offices of Governor and Lieutenant Governor on the same ticket shall be considered a single candidate.
History.s. 2, ch. 73-128; s. 2, ch. 74-200; s. 1, ch. 75-139; s. 39, ch. 77-175; s. 2, ch. 79-378; s. 56, ch. 79-400; s. 23, ch. 81-304; s. 35, ch. 84-302; s. 3, ch. 89-256; s. 25, ch. 90-315; s. 10, ch. 91-107; s. 637, ch. 95-147; s. 9, ch. 97-13; s. 28, ch. 2002-17; s. 14, ch. 2004-252; s. 41, ch. 2007-30; s. 28, ch. 2008-95; ss. 5, 30, ch. 2011-6; s. 53, ch. 2011-40; HJR 7105, 2011 Regular Session; s. 4, ch. 2013-37.
106.022 Appointment of a registered agent; duties.
(1) Each political committee or electioneering communications organization shall have and continuously maintain in this state a registered office and a registered agent and must file with the filing officer a statement of appointment for the registered office and registered agent. The statement of appointment must:
(a) Provide the name of the registered agent and the street address and phone number for the registered office;
(b) Identify the entity for whom the registered agent serves;
(c) Designate the address the registered agent wishes to use to receive mail;
(d) Include the entity’s undertaking to inform the filing officer of any change in such designated address;
(e) Provide for the registered agent’s acceptance of the appointment, which must confirm that the registered agent is familiar with and accepts the obligations of the position as set forth in this section; and
(f) Contain the signature of the registered agent and the entity engaging the registered agent.
(2) An entity may change its appointment of registered agent and registered office under this section by executing a written statement of change and filing it with the filing officer. The statement must satisfy all of the requirements of subsection (1).
(3) A registered agent may resign his or her appointment as registered agent by executing a written statement of resignation and filing it with the filing officer. An entity without a registered agent may not make expenditures or accept contributions until it files a written statement of change as required in subsection (2).
History.s. 67, ch. 2005-277; s. 2, ch. 2006-300; s. 20, ch. 2010-167; ss. 6, 30, ch. 2011-6; s. 54, ch. 2011-40; HJR 7105, 2011 Regular Session; s. 5, ch. 2013-37.
106.023 Statement of candidate.
(1) Each candidate must file a statement with the qualifying officer within 10 days after filing the appointment of campaign treasurer and designation of campaign depository, stating that the candidate has read and understands the requirements of this chapter. Such statement shall be provided by the filing officer and shall be in substantially the following form:

STATEMENT OF CANDIDATE

I,  , candidate for the office of  , have been provided access to read and understand the requirements of Chapter 106, Florida Statutes.

  (Signature of candidate)         (Date)  

Willful failure to file this form is a violation of ss. 106.19(1)(c) and 106.25(3), F.S.

(2) The execution and filing of the statement of candidate does not in and of itself create a presumption that any violation of this chapter or chapter 104 is a willful violation.
History.s. 26, ch. 90-315; s. 638, ch. 95-147; s. 15, ch. 2004-252; s. 15, ch. 2008-4; s. 55, ch. 2011-40.
106.025 Campaign fund raisers.
(1)(a) No campaign fund raiser may be held unless the person for whom such funds are to be so used is a candidate for public office.
(b) All money and contributions received with respect to such a campaign fund raiser shall be deemed to be campaign contributions, and shall be accounted for, and subject to the same restrictions, as other campaign contributions. All expenditures made with respect to such a campaign fund raiser which are made or reimbursed by a check drawn on the campaign depository of the candidate for whom the funds are to be used and shall be deemed to be campaign expenditures to be accounted for, and subject to the same restrictions, as other campaign expenditures.
(c) Any tickets or advertising for a campaign fund raiser must comply with the requirements of s. 106.143.
(d) Any person or candidate who holds a campaign fund raiser, or consents to a campaign fund raiser being held, in violation of the provisions of this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(2) This section shall not apply to any campaign fund raiser held on behalf of a political party by the state or county executive committee or an affiliated party committee of such party, provided that the proceeds of such campaign fund raiser are reported pursuant to s. 106.29.
History.s. 40, ch. 77-175; s. 51, ch. 81-259; s. 24, ch. 81-304; s. 27, ch. 83-217; s. 4, ch. 89-256; ss. 7, 30, ch. 2011-6; s. 56, ch. 2011-40; HJR 7105, 2011 Regular Session; s. 6, ch. 2013-37.
106.03 Registration of political committees and electioneering communications organizations.
(1)(a) Each political committee that receives contributions or makes expenditures during a calendar year in an aggregate amount exceeding $500 or that seeks the signatures of registered electors in support of an initiative shall file a statement of organization as provided in subsection (3) within 10 days after its organization. If a political committee is organized within 10 days of any election, it shall immediately file the statement of organization required by this section.
(b)1. Each group shall file a statement of organization as an electioneering communications organization within 24 hours after the date on which it makes expenditures for an electioneering communication in excess of $5,000, if such expenditures are made within the timeframes specified in s. 106.011(8)(a)2. If the group makes expenditures for an electioneering communication in excess of $5,000 before the timeframes specified in s. 106.011(8)(a)2., it shall file the statement of organization within 24 hours after the 30th day before a primary or special primary election, or within 24 hours after the 60th day before any other election, whichever is applicable.
2.a. In a statewide, legislative, or multicounty election, an electioneering communications organization shall file a statement of organization with the Division of Elections.
b. In a countywide election or any election held on less than a countywide basis, except as described in sub-subparagraph c., an electioneering communications organization shall file a statement of organization with the supervisor of elections of the county in which the election is being held.
c. In a municipal election, an electioneering communications organization shall file a statement of organization with the officer before whom municipal candidates qualify.
d. Any electioneering communications organization that would be required to file a statement of organization in two or more locations need only file a statement of organization with the Division of Elections.
(2) The statement of organization shall include:
(a) The name, mailing address, and street address of the committee or electioneering communications organization;
(b) The names, street addresses, and relationships of affiliated or connected organizations, including any affiliated sponsors;
(c) The area, scope, or jurisdiction of the committee or electioneering communications organization;
(d) The name, mailing address, street address, and position of the custodian of books and accounts;
(e) The name, mailing address, street address, and position of other principal officers, including the treasurer and deputy treasurer, if any;
(f) The name, address, office sought, and party affiliation of:
1. Each candidate whom the committee is supporting;
2. Any other individual, if any, whom the committee is supporting for nomination for election, or election, to any public office whatever;
(g) Any issue or issues the committee is supporting or opposing;
(h) If the committee is supporting the entire ticket of any party, a statement to that effect and the name of the party;
(i) A statement of whether the committee is a continuing one;
(j) Plans for the disposition of residual funds which will be made in the event of dissolution;
(k) A listing of all banks, safe-deposit boxes, or other depositories used for committee or electioneering communications organization funds;
(l) A statement of the reports required to be filed by the committee or the electioneering communications organization with federal officials, if any, and the names, addresses, and positions of such officials; and
(m) A statement of whether the electioneering communications organization was formed as a newly created organization during the current calendar quarter or was formed from an organization existing prior to the current calendar quarter. For purposes of this subsection, calendar quarters end the last day of March, June, September, and December.
(3)(a) A political committee which is organized to support or oppose statewide, legislative, or multicounty candidates or issues to be voted upon on a statewide or multicounty basis shall file a statement of organization with the Division of Elections.
(b) Except as provided in paragraph (c), a political committee which is organized to support or oppose candidates or issues to be voted on in a countywide election or candidates or issues in any election held on less than a countywide basis shall file a statement of organization with the supervisor of elections of the county in which such election is being held.
(c) A political committee which is organized to support or oppose only candidates for municipal office or issues to be voted on in a municipal election shall file a statement of organization with the officer before whom municipal candidates qualify.
(d) Any political committee which would be required under this subsection to file a statement of organization in two or more locations need file only with the Division of Elections.
(4) Any change in information previously submitted in a statement of organization shall be reported to the agency or officer with whom such committee or electioneering communications organization is required to register within 10 days following the change.
(5) Any committee which, after having filed one or more statements of organization, disbands or determines it will no longer receive contributions or make expenditures during the calendar year in an aggregate amount exceeding $500 shall so notify the agency or officer with whom such committee is required to file the statement of organization.
(6) If the filing officer finds that a political committee has filed its statement of organization consistent with the requirements of subsection (2), it shall notify the committee in writing that it has been registered as a political committee. If the filing officer finds that a political committee’s statement of organization does not meet the requirements of subsection (2), it shall notify the committee of such finding and shall state in writing the reasons for rejection of the statement of organization.
(7) The Division of Elections shall adopt rules to prescribe the manner in which committees and electioneering communications organizations may be dissolved and have their registration canceled. Such rules shall, at a minimum, provide for:
(a) Notice which shall contain the facts and conduct which warrant the intended action, including but not limited to failure to file reports and limited activity.
(b) Adequate opportunity to respond.
(c) Appeal of the decision to the Florida Elections Commission. Such appeals shall be exempt from the confidentiality provisions of s. 106.25.
History.s. 3, ch. 73-128; s. 3, ch. 74-200; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 41, ch. 77-175; s. 18, ch. 79-365; s. 25, ch. 81-304; s. 1, ch. 82-143; s. 36, ch. 84-302; s. 5, ch. 89-256; s. 27, ch. 90-315; s. 3, ch. 2006-300; s. 21, ch. 2010-167; ss. 8, 30, ch. 2011-6; s. 57, ch. 2011-40; HJR 7105, 2011 Regular Session; s. 7, ch. 2013-37.
106.05 Deposit of contributions; statement of campaign treasurer.All funds received by the campaign treasurer of any candidate or political committee shall, prior to the end of the 5th business day following the receipt thereof, Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays excluded, be deposited in a campaign depository designated pursuant to s. 106.021, in an account that contains the name of the candidate or committee. Except for contributions to political committees made by payroll deduction, all deposits shall be accompanied by a bank deposit slip containing the name of each contributor and the amount contributed by each. If a contribution is deposited in a secondary campaign depository, the depository shall forward the full amount of the deposit, along with a copy of the deposit slip accompanying the deposit, to the primary campaign depository prior to the end of the 1st business day following the deposit.
History.s. 5, ch. 73-128; s. 1, ch. 76-88; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 43, ch. 77-175; s. 7, ch. 89-256; s. 29, ch. 90-315; s. 8, ch. 2013-37.
106.055 Valuation of in-kind contributions.Any person who makes an in-kind contribution shall, at the time of making such contribution, place a value on such contribution, which valuation shall be the fair market value of such contribution. Travel conveyed upon private aircraft shall be valued at the actual cost of per person commercial air travel for the same or a substantially similar route.
History.s. 44, ch. 77-175; s. 43, ch. 2007-30.
106.06 Treasurer to keep records; inspections.
(1) The campaign treasurer of each candidate and the campaign treasurer of each political committee shall keep detailed accounts, current within not more than 2 days after the date of receiving a contribution or making an expenditure, of all contributions received and all expenditures made by or on behalf of the candidate or political committee that are required to be set forth in a statement filed under this chapter. The campaign treasurer shall also keep detailed accounts of all deposits made in any separate interest-bearing account or certificate of deposit and of all withdrawals made therefrom to the primary depository and of all interest earned thereon.
(2) Accounts, including separate interest-bearing accounts and certificates of deposit, kept by the campaign treasurer of a candidate or political committee may be inspected under reasonable circumstances before, during, or after the election to which the accounts refer by any authorized representative of the Division of Elections or the Florida Elections Commission. The right of inspection may be enforced by appropriate writ issued by any court of competent jurisdiction. The campaign treasurer of a political committee supporting a candidate may be joined with the campaign treasurer of the candidate as respondent in such a proceeding.
(3) Accounts kept by a campaign treasurer of a candidate shall be preserved by the campaign treasurer for a number of years equal to the term of office of the office to which the candidate seeks election. Accounts kept by a campaign treasurer of a political committee shall be preserved by such treasurer for at least 2 years after the date of the election to which the accounts refer.
History.s. 6, ch. 73-128; s. 45, ch. 77-175; s. 3, ch. 79-378; s. 8, ch. 89-256; s. 30, ch. 90-315.
106.07 Reports; certification and filing.
(1) Each campaign treasurer designated by a candidate or political committee pursuant to s. 106.021 shall file regular reports of all contributions received, and all expenditures made, by or on behalf of such candidate or political committee. Except as provided in paragraphs (a) and (b), reports shall be filed on the 10th day following the end of each calendar month from the time the campaign treasurer is appointed, except that, if the 10th day following the end of a calendar month occurs on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the report shall be filed on the next following day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday. Monthly reports shall include all contributions received and expenditures made during the calendar month which have not otherwise been reported pursuant to this section.
(a) A statewide candidate or a political committee required to file reports with the division must file reports:
1. On the 60th day immediately preceding the primary election, and each week thereafter, with the last weekly report being filed on the 4th day immediately preceding the general election.
2. On the 10th day immediately preceding the general election, and each day thereafter, with the last daily report being filed the 5th day immediately preceding the general election.
(b) Any other candidate or a political committee required to file reports with a filing officer other than the division must file reports on the 60th day immediately preceding the primary election, and biweekly on each Friday thereafter through and including the 4th day immediately preceding the general election, with additional reports due on the 25th and 11th days before the primary election and the general election.
(c) Following the last day of qualifying for office, any unopposed candidate need only file a report within 90 days after the date such candidate became unopposed. Such report shall contain all previously unreported contributions and expenditures as required by this section and shall reflect disposition of funds as required by s. 106.141.
(d)1. When a special election is called to fill a vacancy in office, all political committees making contributions or expenditures to influence the results of such special election or the preceding special primary election shall file campaign treasurers’ reports with the filing officer on the dates set by the Department of State pursuant to s. 100.111.
2. When an election is called for an issue to appear on the ballot at a time when no candidates are scheduled to appear on the ballot, all political committees making contributions or expenditures in support of or in opposition to such issue shall file reports on the 18th and 4th days before such election.
(e) The filing officer shall provide each candidate with a schedule designating the beginning and end of reporting periods as well as the corresponding designated due dates.
(2)(a)1. All reports required of a candidate by this section shall be filed with the officer before whom the candidate is required by law to qualify. All candidates who file with the Department of State shall file their reports pursuant to s. 106.0705. Except as provided in s. 106.0705, reports shall be filed not later than 5 p.m. of the day designated; however, any report postmarked by the United States Postal Service no later than midnight of the day designated is deemed to have been filed in a timely manner. Any report received by the filing officer within 5 days after the designated due date that was delivered by the United States Postal Service is deemed timely filed unless it has a postmark that indicates that the report was mailed after the designated due date. A certificate of mailing obtained from and dated by the United States Postal Service at the time of mailing, or a receipt from an established courier company, which bears a date on or before the date on which the report is due, suffices as proof of mailing in a timely manner. Reports other than daily reports must contain information on all previously unreported contributions received and expenditures made as of the preceding Friday, except that the report filed on the Friday immediately preceding the election must contain information on all previously unreported contributions received and expenditures made as of the day preceding that designated due date; daily reports must contain information on all previously unreported contributions received as of the preceding day. All such reports are open to public inspection.
2. This subsection does not prohibit the governing body of a political subdivision, by ordinance or resolution, from imposing upon its own officers and candidates electronic filing requirements not in conflict with s. 106.0705. Expenditure of public funds for such purpose is deemed to be for a valid public purpose.
(b)1. Any report that is deemed to be incomplete by the officer with whom the candidate qualifies must be accepted on a conditional basis. The campaign treasurer shall be notified by certified mail or by another method using a common carrier that provides a proof of delivery of the notice as to why the report is incomplete and within 7 days after receipt of such notice must file an addendum to the report providing all information necessary to complete the report in compliance with this section. Failure to file a complete report after such notice constitutes a violation of this chapter.
2. Notice is deemed complete upon proof of delivery of a written notice to the mailing or street address of the campaign treasurer or registered agent of record with the filing officer.
(3) Reports required of a political committee shall be filed with the agency or officer before whom such committee registers pursuant to s. 106.03(3) and shall be subject to the same filing conditions as established for candidates’ reports. Incomplete reports by political committees shall be treated in the manner provided for incomplete reports by candidates in subsection (2).
(4)(a) Except for daily reports, to which only the contributions provisions below apply, and except as provided in paragraph (b), each report required by this section must contain:
1. The full name, address, and occupation, if any, of each person who has made one or more contributions to or for such committee or candidate within the reporting period, together with the amount and date of such contributions. For corporations, the report must provide as clear a description as practicable of the principal type of business conducted by the corporation. However, if the contribution is $100 or less or is from a relative, as defined in s. 112.312, provided that the relationship is reported, the occupation of the contributor or the principal type of business need not be listed.
2. The name and address of each political committee from which the reporting committee or the candidate received, or to which the reporting committee or candidate made, any transfer of funds, together with the amounts and dates of all transfers.
3. Each loan for campaign purposes to or from any person or political committee within the reporting period, together with the full names, addresses, and occupations, and principal places of business, if any, of the lender and endorsers, if any, and the date and amount of such loans.
4. A statement of each contribution, rebate, refund, or other receipt not otherwise listed under subparagraphs 1. through 3.
5. The total sums of all loans, in-kind contributions, and other receipts by or for such committee or candidate during the reporting period. The reporting forms shall be designed to elicit separate totals for in-kind contributions, loans, and other receipts.
6. The full name and address of each person to whom expenditures have been made by or on behalf of the committee or candidate within the reporting period; the amount, date, and purpose of each such expenditure; and the name and address of, and office sought by, each candidate on whose behalf such expenditure was made. However, expenditures made from the petty cash fund provided by s. 106.12 need not be reported individually.
7. The full name and address of each person to whom an expenditure for personal services, salary, or reimbursement for authorized expenses as provided in s. 106.021(3) has been made and which is not otherwise reported, including the amount, date, and purpose of such expenditure. However, expenditures made from the petty cash fund provided for in s. 106.12 need not be reported individually. Receipts for reimbursement for authorized expenditures shall be retained by the treasurer along with the records for the campaign account.
8. The total amount withdrawn and the total amount spent for petty cash purposes pursuant to this chapter during the reporting period.
9. The total sum of expenditures made by such committee or candidate during the reporting period.
10. The amount and nature of debts and obligations owed by or to the committee or candidate, which relate to the conduct of any political campaign.
11. Transaction information for each credit card purchase. Receipts for each credit card purchase shall be retained by the treasurer with the records for the campaign account.
12. The amount and nature of any separate interest-bearing accounts or certificates of deposit and identification of the financial institution in which such accounts or certificates of deposit are located.
13. The primary purposes of an expenditure made indirectly through a campaign treasurer pursuant to s. 106.021(3) for goods and services such as communications media placement or procurement services, campaign signs, insurance, and other expenditures that include multiple components as part of the expenditure. The primary purpose of an expenditure shall be that purpose, including integral and directly related components, that comprises 80 percent of such expenditure.
(b) Multiple uniform contributions from the same person, aggregating no more than $250 per calendar year, collected by an organization that is the affiliated sponsor of a political committee, may be reported by the political committee in an aggregate amount listing the number of contributors together with the amount contributed by each and the total amount contributed during the reporting period. The identity of each person making such uniform contribution must be reported to the filing officer as provided in subparagraph (a)1. by July 1 of each calendar year, or, in a general election year, no later than the 60th day immediately preceding the primary election.
(c) The filing officer shall make available to any candidate or committee a reporting form which the candidate or committee may use to indicate contributions received by the candidate or committee but returned to the contributor before deposit.
(5) The candidate and his or her campaign treasurer, in the case of a candidate, or the political committee chair and campaign treasurer of the committee, in the case of a political committee, shall certify as to the correctness of each report; and each person so certifying shall bear the responsibility for the accuracy and veracity of each report. Any campaign treasurer, candidate, or political committee chair who willfully certifies the correctness of any report while knowing that such report is incorrect, false, or incomplete commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(6) The records maintained by the campaign depository with respect to any campaign account regulated by this chapter are subject to inspection by an agent of the Division of Elections or the Florida Elections Commission at any time during normal banking hours, and such depository shall furnish certified copies of any of such records to the Division of Elections or Florida Elections Commission upon request.
(7) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, in any reporting period during which a candidate or political committee has not received funds, made any contributions, or expended any reportable funds, the filing of the required report for that period is waived. However, the next report filed must specify that the report covers the entire period between the last submitted report and the report being filed, and any candidate or political committee not reporting by virtue of this subsection on dates prescribed elsewhere in this chapter shall notify the filing officer in writing on the prescribed reporting date that no report is being filed on that date.
(8)(a) Any candidate or political committee failing to file a report on the designated due date is subject to a fine as provided in paragraph (b) for each late day, and, in the case of a candidate, such fine shall be paid only from personal funds of the candidate. The fine shall be assessed by the filing officer and the moneys collected shall be deposited:
1. In the General Revenue Fund, in the case of a candidate for state office or a political committee that registers with the Division of Elections; or
2. In the general revenue fund of the political subdivision, in the case of a candidate for an office of a political subdivision or a political committee that registers with an officer of a political subdivision.

No separate fine shall be assessed for failure to file a copy of any report required by this section.

(b) Upon determining that a report is late, the filing officer shall immediately notify the candidate or chair of the political committee 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 is $50 per day for the first 3 days late and, thereafter, $500 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, for the reports immediately preceding each special primary election, special election, primary election, and general election, the fine is $500 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. For reports required under s. 106.141(8), the fine is $50 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. Upon receipt of the report, the filing officer shall determine the amount of the fine which is due and shall notify the candidate or chair or registered agent of the political committee. 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 or other electronic filing system authorized in this section 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). Notice is deemed complete upon proof of delivery of written notice to the mailing or street address on record with the filing officer. In the case of a candidate, such fine is not an allowable campaign expenditure and shall be paid only from personal funds of the candidate. An officer or member of a political committee is not personally liable for such fine.

(c) Any candidate or chair of a political committee may appeal or dispute the fine, based upon, but not limited to, 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. The Florida Elections Commission must consider the mitigating and aggravating circumstances contained in s. 106.265(2) when determining the amount of a fine, if any, to be waived. Any such request shall be made within 20 days after receipt of the notice of payment due. In such case, the candidate or chair of the political committee 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 a candidate or political committee, the failure of a candidate or political committee to file a report after notice, or the failure to pay the fine imposed. The commission shall investigate only those alleged late filing violations specifically identified by the filing officer and as set forth in the notification. Any other alleged violations must be separately stated and reported by the division to the commission under s. 106.25(2).
(9) The Department of State may prescribe by rule the requirements for filing campaign treasurers’ reports as set forth in this chapter.
History.s. 7, ch. 73-128; ss. 5, 15, 17, ch. 74-200; ss. 1, 2, ch. 75-8; s. 2, ch. 75-139; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 46, ch. 77-175; s. 23, ch. 79-164; ss. 7, 8, ch. 79-365; s. 4, ch. 79-378; s. 58, ch. 79-400; s. 52, ch. 81-259; s. 27, ch. 81-304; s. 2, ch. 82-143; s. 11, ch. 83-251; s. 37, ch. 84-302; s. 6, ch. 85-226; s. 1, ch. 86-134; s. 13, ch. 87-224; s. 9, ch. 89-256; s. 31, ch. 90-315; s. 2, ch. 90-338; s. 18, ch. 90-502; s. 7, ch. 91-107; s. 2, ch. 95-140; s. 640, ch. 95-147; s. 15, ch. 95-280; s. 7, ch. 97-13; s. 6, ch. 2001-75; s. 29, ch. 2002-17; s. 2, ch. 2002-197; s. 8, ch. 2003-1; ss. 17, 18, ch. 2004-252; s. 24, ch. 2005-286; ss. 5, 10, ch. 2006-300; s. 29, ch. 2008-95; s. 59, ch. 2011-40; s. 6, ch. 2012-5; s. 9, ch. 2013-37.
106.0701 Solicitation of contributions on behalf of s. 527 or s. 501(c)(4) organizations; reporting requirements; civil penalty; exemption.
(1) The Governor, Lieutenant Governor, members of the Cabinet, state legislators, or candidates for such offices who directly or indirectly solicit, cause to be solicited, or accept any contribution on behalf of an organization that is exempt from taxation under s. 527 or s. 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code, which such individuals, in whole or in part, establish, maintain, or control, shall file a statement with the division within 5 days after commencing such activity on behalf of the organization. The statement shall contain the following information:
(a) The name of the person acting on behalf of the organization.
(b) The name and type of the organization.
(c) A description of the relationship between the person and the organization.
(2) Failure to timely file the statement shall subject the person to a civil penalty of $50 per day for each late day, payable from the personal funds of the violator.
(3) Upon filing a statement with the division, an individual subject to the requirements of subsection (1) shall promptly create a public website that contains a mission statement and the names of persons associated with the organization. The address of the website shall be reported to the division within 5 business days after the website is created.
(4) All contributions received shall be disclosed on the website within 5 business days after deposit, together with the name, address, and occupation of the donor. All expenditures by the organization shall be individually disclosed on the website within 5 business days after being made.
(5) The filing requirements of subsection (1) do not apply to an individual acting on behalf of his or her own campaign, a political party, or an affiliated party committee of which the individual is a member.
History.s. 6, ch. 2006-300; ss. 10, 30, ch. 2011-6; HJR 7105, 2011 Regular Session.
106.0702 Reporting; political party executive committee candidates.
(1) An individual seeking a publicly elected position on a political party executive committee who receives a contribution or makes an expenditure shall file a report of all contributions received and all expenditures made. The report shall be filed on the 4th day immediately preceding the primary election.
(2)(a) The report shall be filed with the supervisor of elections of the appropriate county. Reports shall be filed no later than 5 p.m. of the day designated; however, any report postmarked by the United States Postal Service by the day designated shall be deemed to have been filed in a timely manner. Any report received by the filing officer within 5 days after the designated due date shall be deemed timely filed unless it has a postmark that indicates that the report was mailed after the designated due date. A certificate of mailing obtained from and dated by the United States Postal Service at the time of mailing, or a receipt from an established courier company, which bears a date on or before the date on which the report is due is proof of mailing in a timely manner. The report filed must contain information of all contributions received and expenditures made as of the day preceding the designated due date. All such reports must be open to public inspection.
(b) A reporting individual may submit the report required under this section through an electronic filing system, if used by the supervisor for other candidates, in order to satisfy the filing requirement. Such reports shall be completed and filed through the electronic filing system not later than midnight on the 4th day immediately preceding the primary election.
(3)(a) A report that is deemed to be incomplete by the supervisor shall be accepted on a conditional basis. The supervisor shall send a notice to the reporting individual by certified mail or by another method using a common carrier that provides proof of delivery as to why the report is incomplete. Within 7 days after receipt of such notice, the reporting individual must file an addendum to the report providing all information necessary to complete the report in compliance with this section. Failure to file a complete report after such notice constitutes a violation of this chapter.
(b) Notice is deemed complete upon proof of delivery of a written notice to the mailing or street address that is on record with the supervisor.
(4)(a) Each report required by this section must contain:
1. The full name, address, and occupation of each person who has made one or more contributions to or for the reporting individual within the reporting period, together with the amount and date of such contributions. For corporations, the report must provide as clear a description as practicable of the principal type of business conducted by the corporations. However, if the contribution is $100 or less or is from a relative, as defined in s. 112.312, provided that the relationship is reported, the occupation of the contributor or the principal type of business need not be listed.
2. The name and address of each political committee from which the reporting individual has received, or to which the reporting individual has made, any transfer of funds within the reporting period, together with the amounts and dates of all transfers.
3. Each loan for campaign purposes from any person or political committee within the reporting period, together with the full name, address, and occupation, and principal place of business, if any, of the lender and endorser, if any, and the date and amount of such loans.
4. A statement of each contribution, rebate, refund, or other receipt not otherwise listed under subparagraphs 1.-3.
5. The total sums of all loans, in-kind contributions, and other receipts by or for such reporting individual during the reporting period. The reporting forms shall be designed to elicit separate totals for in-kind contributions, loans, and other receipts.
6. The full name and address of each person to whom expenditures have been made by or on behalf of the reporting individual within the reporting period; the amount, date, and purpose of each such expenditure; and the name and address of, and office sought by, each reporting individual on whose behalf such expenditure was made.
7. The amount and nature of debts and obligations owed by or to the reporting individual which relate to the conduct of any political campaign.
8. Transaction information for each credit card purchase. Receipts for each credit card purchase shall be retained by the reporting individual.
9. The amount and nature of any separate interest-bearing accounts or certificates of deposit and identification of the financial institution in which such accounts or certificates of deposit are located.
(b) The supervisor shall make available to any reporting individual a reporting form that the reporting individual may use to indicate contributions received by the reporting individual but returned to the contributor before deposit.
(5) The reporting individual shall certify as to the correctness of the report and shall bear the responsibility for the accuracy and veracity of each report. Any reporting individual who willfully certifies the correctness of the report while knowing that such report is incorrect, false, or incomplete commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(6) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, the filing of the required report is waived if the reporting individual has not received contributions or expended any reportable funds.
(7)(a) A reporting individual who fails to file a report on the designated due date is subject to a fine, and such fine shall be paid only from personal funds of the reporting individual. The fine shall be $50 per day for the first 3 days late and, thereafter, $500 per day for each late day, not to exceed 25 percent of the total receipts or expenditures, whichever is greater. The fine shall be assessed by the supervisor, and the moneys collected shall be deposited into the general revenue fund of the political subdivision.
(b) The supervisor shall determine the amount of the fine due based upon the earliest of the following:
1. When the report is actually received by the supervisor;
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; or
5. When the report is completed and filed through the electronic filing system, if applicable.

Such fine shall be paid to the supervisor within 20 days after receipt of the notice of payment due unless appeal is made to the Florida Elections Commission pursuant to paragraph (c). Notice is deemed complete upon proof of delivery of written notice to the mailing or street address on record with the supervisor. Such fine may not be an allowable campaign expenditure and shall be paid only from personal funds of the reporting individual.

(c) A reporting individual may appeal or dispute the fine, based upon, but not limited to, unusual circumstances surrounding the failure to file on the designated due date, and may request and is entitled to a hearing before the Florida Elections Commission, which has the authority to waive the fine in whole or in part. The Florida Elections Commission must consider the mitigating and aggravating circumstances contained in s. 106.265(2) when determining the amount of a fine, if any, to be waived. Any such request shall be made within 20 days after receipt of the notice of payment due. In such case, the reporting individual must, within 20 days after receipt of the notice, notify the supervisor in writing of his or her intention to bring the matter before the commission.
(d) The appropriate supervisor shall notify the Florida Elections Commission of the late filing by a reporting individual, the failure of a reporting individual to file a report after notice, or the failure to pay the fine imposed. The commission shall investigate only those alleged late filing violations specifically identified by the supervisor and as set forth in the notification. Any other alleged violations must be separately stated and reported by the division to the commission under s. 106.25(2).
History.s. 10, ch. 2013-37.
106.0703 Electioneering communications organizations; reporting requirements; certification and filing; penalties.
(1)(a) Each electioneering communications organization shall file regular reports of all contributions received and all expenditures made by or on behalf of the organization. Except as provided in paragraphs (b) and (c), reports must be filed on the 10th day following the end of each calendar month from the time the organization is registered. However, if the 10th day following the end of a calendar month occurs on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the report must be filed on the next following day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday. Monthly reports must include all contributions received and expenditures made during the calendar month that have not otherwise been reported pursuant to this section.
(b) For an electioneering communications organization required to file reports with the division, reports must be filed:
1. On the 60th day immediately preceding the primary election, and each week thereafter, with the last weekly report being filed on the 4th day immediately preceding the general election.
2. On the 10th day immediately preceding the general election, and every day thereafter excluding the 4th day immediately preceding the general election, with the last daily report being filed the day before the general election.
(c) For an electioneering communications organization required to file reports with a filing officer other than the division, reports must be filed on the 60th day immediately preceding the primary election, and biweekly on each Friday thereafter through and including the 4th day immediately preceding the general election, with additional reports due on the 25th and 11th days before the primary election and the general election.
(d) When a special election is called to fill a vacancy in office, all electioneering communications organizations making contributions or expenditures to influence the results of the special election shall file reports with the filing officer on the dates set by the Department of State pursuant to s. 100.111.
(e) In addition to the reports required by paragraph (a), an electioneering communications organization that is registered with the Department of State and that makes a contribution or expenditure to influence the results of a county or municipal election that is not being held at the same time as a state or federal election must file reports with the county or municipal filing officer on the same dates as county or municipal candidates or committees for that election. The electioneering communications organization must also include the expenditure in the next report filed with the Division of Elections pursuant to this section following the county or municipal election.
(f) The filing officer shall make available to each electioneering communications organization a schedule designating the beginning and end of reporting periods as well as the corresponding designated due dates.
(2)(a) Except as provided in s. 106.0705, the reports required of an electioneering communications organization shall be filed with the filing officer not later than 5 p.m. of the day designated. However, any report postmarked by the United States Postal Service no later than midnight of the day designated is deemed to have been filed in a timely manner. Any report received by the filing officer within 5 days after the designated due date that was delivered by the United States Postal Service is deemed timely filed unless it has a postmark that indicates that the report was mailed after the designated due date. A certificate of mailing obtained from and dated by the United States Postal Service at the time of mailing, or a receipt from an established courier company, which bears a date on or before the date on which the report is due, suffices as proof of mailing in a timely manner. Reports other than daily reports must contain information on all previously unreported contributions received and expenditures made as of the preceding Friday, except that the report filed on the Friday immediately preceding the election must contain information on all previously unreported contributions received and expenditures made as of the day preceding the designated due date; daily reports must contain information on all previously unreported contributions received as of the preceding day. All such reports are open to public inspection.
(b)1. Any report that is deemed to be incomplete by the officer with whom the electioneering communications organization files shall be accepted on a conditional basis. The treasurer of the electioneering communications organization shall be notified, by certified mail or other common carrier that can establish proof of delivery for the notice, as to why the report is incomplete. Within 7 days after receipt of such notice, the treasurer must file an addendum to the report providing all information necessary to complete the report in compliance with this section. Failure to file a complete report after such notice constitutes a violation of this chapter.
2. Notice is deemed sufficient upon proof of delivery of written notice to the mailing or street address of the treasurer or registered agent of the electioneering communication organization on record with the filing officer.
(3)(a) Except for daily reports, to which only the contribution provisions below apply, each report required by this section must contain:
1. The full name, address, and occupation, if any, of each person who has made one or more contributions to or for such electioneering communications organization within the reporting period, together with the amount and date of such contributions. For corporations, the report must provide as clear a description as practicable of the principal type of business conducted by the corporation. However, if the contribution is $100 or less, the occupation of the contributor or the principal type of business need not be listed.
2. The name and address of each political committee from which or to which the reporting electioneering communications organization made any transfer of funds, together with the amounts and dates of all transfers.
3. Each loan for electioneering communication purposes to or from any person or political committee within the reporting period, together with the full names, addresses, and occupations and principal places of business, if any, of the lender and endorsers, if any, and the date and amount of such loans.
4. A statement of each contribution, rebate, refund, or other receipt not otherwise listed under subparagraphs 1.-3.
5. The total sums of all loans, in-kind contributions, and other receipts by or for such electioneering communications organization during the reporting period. The reporting forms shall be designed to elicit separate totals for in-kind contributions, loans, and other receipts.
6. The full name and address of each person to whom expenditures have been made by or on behalf of the electioneering communications organization within the reporting period and the amount, date, and purpose of each expenditure.
7. The full name and address of each person to whom an expenditure for personal services, salary, or reimbursement for expenses has been made and that is not otherwise reported, including the amount, date, and purpose of the expenditure.
8. The total sum of expenditures made by the electioneering communications organization during the reporting period.
9. The amount and nature of debts and obligations owed by or to the electioneering communications organization that relate to the conduct of any electioneering communication.
10. Transaction information for each credit card purchase. Receipts for each credit card purchase shall be retained by the electioneering communications organization.
11. The amount and nature of any separate interest-bearing accounts or certificates of deposit and identification of the financial institution in which such accounts or certificates of deposit are located.
12. The primary purposes of an expenditure made indirectly through an electioneering communications organization for goods and services, such as communications media placement or procurement services and other expenditures that include multiple components as part of the expenditure. The primary purpose of an expenditure shall be that purpose, including integral and directly related components, that comprises 80 percent of such expenditure.
(b) The filing officer shall make available to any electioneering communications organization a reporting form which the electioneering communications organization may use to indicate contributions received by the electioneering communications organization but returned to the contributor before deposit.
(4) The treasurer of the electioneering communications organization shall certify as to the correctness of each report, and each person so certifying shall bear the responsibility for the accuracy and veracity of each report. Any treasurer who willfully certifies the correctness of any report while knowing that such report is incorrect, false, or incomplete commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(5) The electioneering communications organization depository shall provide statements reflecting deposits and expenditures from the account to the treasurer, who shall retain the records pursuant to s. 106.06. The records maintained by the depository with respect to the account shall be subject to inspection by an agent of the Division of Elections or the Florida Elections Commission at any time during normal banking hours, and such depository shall furnish certified copies of any such records to the Division of Elections or the Florida Elections Commission upon request.
(6) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, in any reporting period during which an electioneering communications organization has not received funds, made any contributions, or expended any reportable funds, the treasurer shall file a written report with the filing officer by the prescribed reporting date that no reportable contributions or expenditures were made during the reporting period.
(7)(a) Any electioneering communications organization 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:
1. In the General Revenue Fund, in the case of an electioneering communications organization that registers with the Division of Elections; or
2. In the general revenue fund of the political subdivision, in the case of an electioneering communications organization that registers with an officer of a political subdivision.

No separate fine shall be assessed for failure to file a copy of any report required by this section.

(b) Upon determining that a report is late, the filing officer shall immediately notify the electioneering communications organization 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 $50 per day for the first 3 days late and, thereafter, $500 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, for the reports immediately preceding each primary and general election, the fine shall be $500 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. Upon receipt of the report, the filing officer shall determine the amount of the fine which is due and shall notify the electioneering communications organization. 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 or other electronic filing system authorized in this section 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). Notice is deemed sufficient upon proof of delivery of written notice to the mailing or street address on record with the filing officer. An officer or member of an electioneering communications organization shall not be personally liable for such fine.

(c) The treasurer of an electioneering communications organization may appeal or dispute the fine, based upon, but not limited to, 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. The Florida Elections Commission must consider the mitigating and aggravating circumstances contained in s. 106.265(2) when determining the amount of a fine, if any, to be waived. Any such request shall be made within 20 days after receipt of the notice of payment due. In such case, the treasurer of the electioneering communications organization 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 electioneering communications organization, the failure of an electioneering communications organization to file a report after notice, or the failure to pay the fine imposed. The commission shall investigate only those alleged late filing violations specifically identified by the filing officer and as set forth in the notification. Any other alleged violations must be stated separately and reported by the division to the commission under s. 106.25(2).
(8) Electioneering communications organizations shall not use credit cards.
History.s. 7, ch. 2006-300; s. 23, ch. 2010-167; ss. 11, 30, ch. 2011-6; s. 60, ch. 2011-40; HJR 7105, 2011 Regular Session; s. 7, ch. 2012-5; s. 11, ch. 2013-37; s. 10, ch. 2014-17.
106.0705 Electronic filing of campaign treasurer’s reports.
(1) As used in this section, “electronic filing system” means an Internet system for recording and reporting campaign finance activity by reporting period.
(2)(a) Each individual who is required to file reports with the division pursuant to s. 106.07 or s. 106.141 must file such reports by means of the division’s electronic filing system.
(b) Each political committee, electioneering communications organization, affiliated party committee, or state executive committee that is required to file reports with the division under s. 106.07, s. 106.0703, or s. 106.29, as applicable, must file such reports with the division by means of the division’s electronic filing system.
(c) Each person or organization that is required to file reports with the division under s. 106.071 must file such reports by means of the division’s electronic filing system.
(3) Reports filed pursuant to this section shall be completed and filed through the electronic filing system not later than midnight of the day designated. Reports not filed by midnight of the day designated are late filed and are subject to the penalties under s. 106.07(8), s. 106.0703(7), or s. 106.29(3), as applicable.
(4) Each report filed pursuant to this section is considered to be under oath by the candidate and treasurer, the chair and treasurer, the treasurer under s. 106.0703, or the leader and treasurer under s. 103.092, whichever is applicable, and such persons are subject to the provisions of s. 106.07(5), s. 106.0703(4), or s. 106.29(2), as applicable. Persons given a secure sign-on to the electronic filing system are responsible for protecting such from disclosure and are responsible for all filings using such credentials, unless they have notified the division that their credentials have been compromised.
(5) The electronic filing system developed by the division must:
(a) Be based on access by means of the Internet.
(b) Be accessible by anyone with Internet access using standard web-browsing software.
(c) Provide for direct entry of campaign finance information as well as upload of such information from campaign finance software certified by the division.
(d) Provide a method that prevents unauthorized access to electronic filing system functions.
(6) The division shall adopt rules to administer this section and provide for the reports required to be filed pursuant to this section. Such rules shall, at a minimum, provide:
(a) Alternate filing procedures in case the division’s electronic filing system is not operable.
(b) For the issuance of an electronic receipt to the person submitting the report indicating and verifying that the report has been filed.
History.s. 19, ch. 2004-252; s. 45, ch. 2005-278; s. 8, ch. 2006-300; s. 24, ch. 2010-167; ss. 12, 30, ch. 2011-6; s. 61, ch. 2011-40; HJR 7105, 2011 Regular Session; s. 12, ch. 2013-37.
106.0706 Electronic filing of campaign finance reports; public records exemption.
(1) All user identifications and passwords held by the Department of State pursuant to s. 106.0705 are confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.
(2)(a) Information entered in the electronic filing system for purposes of generating a report pursuant to s. 106.0705 is exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.
(b) Information entered in the electronic filing system is no longer exempt once the report is generated and filed with the Division of Elections.
History.s. 1, ch. 2004-253; s. 16, ch. 2008-4; s. 1, ch. 2009-149.
106.071 Independent expenditures; electioneering communications; reports; disclaimers.
(1) Each person who makes an independent expenditure with respect to any candidate or issue, and each individual who makes an expenditure for an electioneering communication which is not otherwise reported pursuant to this chapter, which expenditure, in the aggregate, is in the amount of $5,000 or more, shall file periodic reports of such expenditures in the same manner, at the same time, subject to the same penalties, and with the same officer as a political committee supporting or opposing such candidate or issue. The report shall contain the full name and address of the person making the expenditure; the full name and address of each person to whom and for whom each such expenditure has been made; the amount, date, and purpose of each such expenditure; a description of the services or goods obtained by each such expenditure; the issue to which the expenditure relates; and the name and address of, and office sought by, each candidate on whose behalf such expenditure was made.
(2) Any political advertisement paid for by an independent expenditure shall prominently state “Paid political advertisement paid for by   (Name and address of person paying for advertisement)   independently of any   (candidate or committee)  .”
(3) Subsection (2) does not apply to novelty items having a retail value of $10 or less which support, but do not oppose, a candidate or issue.
(4) Any person who fails to include the disclaimer prescribed in subsection (2) in any political advertisement that is required to contain such disclaimer commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
History.s. 47, ch. 77-175; s. 10, ch. 89-256; s. 4, ch. 2004-252; s. 25, ch. 2010-167; ss. 13, 30, ch. 2011-6; HJR 7105, 2011 Regular Session.
106.075 Elected officials; report of loans made in year preceding election; limitation on contributions to pay loans.
(1) A person who is elected to office must report all loans, exceeding $500 in value, made to him or her and used for campaign purposes, and made in the 12 months preceding his or her election to office, to the filing officer. The report must be made, in the manner prescribed by the Department of State, within 10 days after being elected to office.
(2) Any person who makes a contribution to an individual to pay all or part of a loan incurred, in the 12 months preceding the election, to be used for the individual’s campaign, may not contribute more than the amount which is allowed in s. 106.08(1).
History.s. 11, ch. 89-256; s. 32, ch. 90-315; s. 12, ch. 91-107; s. 641, ch. 95-147; s. 34, ch. 2013-37.
106.08 Contributions; limitations on.
(1)(a) Except for political parties or affiliated party committees, no person or political committee may, in any election, make contributions in excess of the following amounts:
1. To a candidate for statewide office or for retention as a justice of the Supreme Court, $3,000. Candidates for the offices of Governor and Lieutenant Governor on the same ticket are considered a single candidate for the purpose of this section.
2. To a candidate for retention as a judge of a district court of appeal; a candidate for legislative office; a candidate for multicounty office; a candidate for countywide office or in any election conducted on less than a countywide basis; or a candidate for county court judge or circuit judge, $1,000.
(b) The contribution limits provided in this subsection do not apply to contributions made by a state or county executive committee of a political party or affiliated party committee regulated by chapter 103 or to amounts contributed by a candidate to his or her own campaign.
(c) The contribution limits of this subsection apply to each election. For purposes of this subsection, the primary election and general election are separate elections so long as the candidate is not an unopposed candidate as defined in s. 106.011. However, for the purpose of contribution limits with respect to candidates for retention as a justice or judge, there is only one election, which is the general election.
(2)(a) A candidate may not accept contributions from a county executive committee of a political party whose contributions in the aggregate exceed $50,000, or from the national or state executive committees of a political party, including any subordinate committee of such political party or affiliated party committees, whose contributions in the aggregate exceed $50,000.
(b) A candidate for statewide office may not accept contributions from national, state, or county executive committees of a political party, including any subordinate committee of the political party, or affiliated party committees, which contributions in the aggregate exceed $250,000. Polling services, research services, costs for campaign staff, professional consulting services, and telephone calls are not contributions to be counted toward the contribution limits of paragraph (a) or this paragraph. Any item not expressly identified in this paragraph as nonallocable is a contribution in an amount equal to the fair market value of the item and must be counted as allocable toward the contribution limits of paragraph (a) or this paragraph. Nonallocable, in-kind contributions must be reported by the candidate under s. 106.07 and by the political party or affiliated party committee under s. 106.29.
(3)(a) Any contribution received by a candidate with opposition in an election or by the campaign treasurer or a deputy campaign treasurer of such a candidate on the day of that election or less than 5 days before the day of that election must be returned by him or her to the person or committee contributing it and may not be used or expended by or on behalf of the candidate.
(b) Any contribution received by a candidate or by the campaign treasurer or a deputy campaign treasurer of a candidate after the date at which the candidate withdraws his or her candidacy, or after the date the candidate is defeated, becomes unopposed, or is elected to office must be returned to the person or committee contributing it and may not be used or expended by or on behalf of the candidate.
(4) Any contribution received by the chair, campaign treasurer, or deputy campaign treasurer of a political committee supporting or opposing a candidate with opposition in an election or supporting or opposing an issue on the ballot in an election on the day of that election or less than 5 days before the day of that election may not be obligated or expended by the committee until after the date of the election.
(5)(a) A person may not make any contribution through or in the name of another, directly or indirectly, in any election.
(b) Candidates, political committees, affiliated party committees, and political parties may not solicit contributions from any religious, charitable, civic, or other causes or organizations established primarily for the public good.
(c) Candidates, political committees, affiliated party committees, and political parties may not make contributions, in exchange for political support, to any religious, charitable, civic, or other cause or organization established primarily for the public good. It is not a violation of this paragraph for:
1. A candidate, political committee, affiliated party committee, or political party executive committee to make gifts of money in lieu of flowers in memory of a deceased person;
2. A candidate to continue membership in, or make regular donations from personal or business funds to, religious, political party, affiliated party committee, civic, or charitable groups of which the candidate is a member or to which the candidate has been a regular donor for more than 6 months; or
3. A candidate to purchase, with campaign funds, tickets, admission to events, or advertisements from religious, civic, political party, affiliated party committee, or charitable groups.
(6)(a) A political party or affiliated party committee may not accept any contribution that has been specifically designated for the partial or exclusive use of a particular candidate. Any contribution so designated must be returned to the contributor and may not be used or expended by or on behalf of the candidate. Funds contributed to an affiliated party committee may not be designated for the partial or exclusive use of a leader as defined in s. 103.092.
(b)1. A political party or affiliated party committee may not accept any in-kind contribution that fails to provide a direct benefit to the political party or affiliated party committee. A “direct benefit” includes, but is not limited to, fundraising or furthering the objectives of the political party or affiliated party committee.
2.a. An in-kind contribution to a state political party may be accepted only by the chairperson of the state political party or by the chairperson’s designee or designees whose names are on file with the division in a form acceptable to the division before the date of the written notice required in sub-subparagraph b. An in-kind contribution to a county political party may be accepted only by the chairperson of the county political party or by the county chairperson’s designee or designees whose names are on file with the supervisor of elections of the respective county before the date of the written notice required in sub-subparagraph b. An in-kind contribution to an affiliated party committee may be accepted only by the leader of the affiliated party committee as defined in s. 103.092 or by the leader’s designee or designees whose names are on file with the division in a form acceptable to the division before the date of the written notice required in sub-subparagraph b.
b. A person making an in-kind contribution to a state or county political party or affiliated party committee must provide prior written notice of the contribution to a person described in sub-subparagraph a. The prior written notice must be signed and dated and may be provided by an electronic or facsimile message. However, prior written notice is not required for an in-kind contribution that consists of food and beverage in an aggregate amount not exceeding $1,500 which is consumed at a single sitting or event if such in-kind contribution is accepted in advance by a person specified in sub-subparagraph a.
c. A person described in sub-subparagraph a. may accept an in-kind contribution requiring prior written notice only in a writing that is dated before the in-kind contribution is made. Failure to obtain the required written acceptance of an in-kind contribution to a state or county political party or affiliated party committee constitutes a refusal of the contribution.
d. A copy of each prior written acceptance required under sub-subparagraph c. must be filed at the time the regular reports of contributions and expenditures required under s. 106.29 are filed by the state executive committee, county executive committee, and affiliated party committee. A state executive committee and an affiliated party committee must file with the division. A county executive committee must file with the county’s supervisor of elections.
e. An in-kind contribution may not be given to a state or county political party or affiliated party committee unless the in-kind contribution is made as provided in this subparagraph.
(7)(a) Any person who knowingly and willfully makes or accepts no more than one contribution in violation of subsection (1) or subsection (5), or any person who knowingly and willfully fails or refuses to return any contribution as required in subsection (3), commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. If any corporation, partnership, or other business entity or any political party, affiliated party committee, political committee, or electioneering communications organization is convicted of knowingly and willfully violating any provision punishable under this paragraph, it shall be fined not less than $1,000 and not more than $10,000. If it is a domestic entity, it may be ordered dissolved by a court of competent jurisdiction; if it is a foreign or nonresident business entity, its right to do business in this state may be forfeited. Any officer, partner, agent, attorney, or other representative of a corporation, partnership, or other business entity, or of a political party, affiliated party committee, political committee, electioneering communications organization, or organization exempt from taxation under s. 527 or s. 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code, who aids, abets, advises, or participates in a violation of any provision punishable under this paragraph commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(b) Any person who knowingly and willfully makes or accepts two or more contributions in violation of subsection (1) or subsection (5) commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. If any corporation, partnership, or other business entity or any political party, affiliated party committee, political committee, or electioneering communications organization is convicted of knowingly and willfully violating any provision punishable under this paragraph, it shall be fined not less than $10,000 and not more than $50,000. If it is a domestic entity, it may be ordered dissolved by a court of competent jurisdiction; if it is a foreign or nonresident business entity, its right to do business in this state may be forfeited. Any officer, partner, agent, attorney, or other representative of a corporation, partnership, or other business entity, or of a political committee, political party, affiliated party committee, or electioneering communications organization, or organization exempt from taxation under s. 527 or s. 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code, who aids, abets, advises, or participates in a violation of any provision punishable under this paragraph commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(8) Except when otherwise provided in subsection (7), any person who knowingly and willfully violates any provision of this section shall, in addition to any other penalty prescribed by this chapter, pay to the state a sum equal to twice the amount contributed in violation of this chapter. Each campaign treasurer shall pay all amounts contributed in violation of this section to the state for deposit in the General Revenue Fund.
(9) This section does not apply to the transfer of funds between a primary campaign depository and a savings account or certificate of deposit or to any interest earned on such account or certificate.
(10) Contributions to a political committee may be received by an affiliated organization and transferred to the bank account of the political committee via check written from the affiliated organization if such contributions are specifically identified as intended to be contributed to the political committee. All contributions received in this manner shall be reported pursuant to s. 106.07 by the political committee as having been made by the original contributor.
History.s. 8, ch. 73-128; s. 6, ch. 74-200; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 48, ch. 77-175; s. 1, ch. 78-403; s. 9, ch. 79-365; s. 5, ch. 79-378; s. 7, ch. 85-226; s. 4, ch. 86-134; s. 12, ch. 89-256; ss. 33, 46, ch. 90-315; s. 9, ch. 90-338; s. 11, ch. 91-107; s. 642, ch. 95-147; s. 3, ch. 97-13; s. 8, ch. 99-355; s. 27, ch. 2002-17; s. 3, ch. 2002-197; s. 1, ch. 2002-281; s. 68, ch. 2005-277; s. 46, ch. 2005-278; s. 25, ch. 2005-286; s. 1, ch. 2005-360; s. 9, ch. 2006-300; s. 44, ch. 2007-30; s. 26, ch. 2010-167; ss. 14, 30, ch. 2011-6; s. 62, ch. 2011-40; HJR 7105, 2011 Regular Session; s. 8, ch. 2012-5; s. 13, ch. 2013-37.
106.087 Independent expenditures; contribution limits; restrictions on political parties and political committees.
(1)(a) As a condition of receiving a rebate of filing fees and party assessment funds pursuant to s. 99.061(2), s. 99.092(1), s. 99.103, or s. 103.121(1)(b), the chair or treasurer of a state or county executive committee shall take and subscribe to an oath or affirmation in writing. During the qualifying period for state candidates and prior to distribution of such funds, a printed copy of the oath or affirmation shall be filed with the Secretary of State and shall be substantially in the following form:

State of Florida

County of 

Before me, an officer authorized to administer oaths, personally appeared   (name)  , to me well known, who, being sworn, says that he or she is the   (title)   of the   (name of party)    (state or specified county)   executive committee; that the executive committee has not made, either directly or indirectly, an independent expenditure in support of or opposition to a candidate or elected public official in the prior 6 months; that the executive committee will not make, either directly or indirectly, an independent expenditure in support of or opposition to a candidate or elected public official, through and including the upcoming general election; and that the executive committee will not violate the contribution limits applicable to candidates under s. 106.08(2), Florida Statutes.

  (Signature of committee officer)  

  (Address)  

Sworn to and subscribed before me this   day of  ,   (year)  , at   County, Florida.

  (Signature and title of officer administering oath)  

(b) Any executive committee found to have violated the provisions of the oath or affirmation in this section prior to receiving funds shall be ineligible to receive the rebate for that general election year.
(c) Any executive committee found to have violated the provisions of the oath or affirmation in this section after receiving funds shall be ineligible to receive the rebate from candidates qualifying for the following general election cycle.
(d) Any funds not distributed to the state or county executive committee pursuant to this section shall be deposited into the General Revenue Fund of the state.
(2)(a) Any political committee that accepts the use of public funds, equipment, personnel, or other resources to collect dues from its members agrees not to make independent expenditures in support of or opposition to a candidate or elected public official. However, expenditures may be made for the sole purpose of jointly endorsing three or more candidates.
(b) Any political committee that violates this subsection is liable for a civil fine of up to $5,000 to be determined by the Florida Elections Commission or the entire amount of the expenditures, whichever is greater.
History.s. 5, ch. 97-13; s. 14, ch. 99-6; s. 19, ch. 2013-37.
106.088 Independent expenditures; contribution limits; restrictions on affiliated party committees.
(1) As a condition of receiving a rebate of party assessments under s. 103.121(1)(b), the leader or treasurer of an affiliated party committee as defined in s. 103.092 shall take and subscribe to an oath or affirmation in writing. During the qualifying period for state candidates and prior to distribution of such funds, a printed copy of the oath or affirmation shall be filed with the Secretary of State and shall be substantially in the following form:

State of Florida

County of  

Before me, an officer authorized to administer oaths, personally appeared   (name)  , to me well known, who, being sworn, says that he or she is the   (title)   of the   (name of party)    (name of chamber)   affiliated party committee; that the affiliated party committee has not made, either directly or indirectly, an independent expenditure in support of or opposition to a candidate or elected public official in the prior 6 months; that the affiliated party committee will not make, either directly or indirectly, an independent expenditure in support of or opposition to a candidate or elected public official, through and including the upcoming general election; and that the affiliated party committee will not violate the contribution limits applicable to candidates under s. 106.08(2), Florida Statutes.

  (Signature of committee officer)  

  (Address)  

Sworn to and subscribed before me this  day of  ,   (year)  , at   County, Florida.

  (Signature and title of officer administering oath)  

(2)(a) Any affiliated party committee found to have violated the provisions of the oath or affirmation prior to receiving funds shall be ineligible to receive the rebate for that general election year.
(b) Any affiliated party committee found to have violated the provisions of the oath or affirmation after receiving funds shall be ineligible to receive the rebate from candidates qualifying for the following general election cycle.
(3) Any funds not distributed to the affiliated party committee pursuant to this section shall be deposited into the General Revenue Fund of the state.
History.ss. 15, 30, ch. 2011-6; HJR 7105, 2011 Regular Session.
106.09 Cash contributions and contribution by cashier’s checks.
(1)(a) A person may not make an aggregate cash contribution or contribution by means of a cashier’s check to the same candidate or committee in excess of $50 per election.
(b) A person may not accept an aggregate cash contribution or contribution by means of a cashier’s check from the same contributor in excess of $50 per election.
(2)(a) Any person who makes or accepts a contribution in violation of subsection (1) commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(b) Any person who knowingly and willfully makes or accepts a contribution in excess of $5,000 in violation of subsection (1) commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
History.s. 9, ch. 73-128; s. 48, ch. 77-175; s. 2, ch. 2002-281; s. 45, ch. 2007-30; s. 63, ch. 2011-40.
106.11 Expenses of and expenditures by candidates and political committees.Each candidate and each political committee which designates a primary campaign depository pursuant to s. 106.021(1) shall make expenditures from funds on deposit in such primary campaign depository only in the following manner, with the exception of expenditures made from petty cash funds provided by s. 106.12:
(1)(a) The campaign treasurer or deputy campaign treasurer of a candidate or political committee shall make expenditures from funds on deposit in the primary campaign depository only by means of a bank check drawn upon the campaign account of the candidate or political committee. The campaign account shall be separate from any personal or other account and shall be used only for the purpose of depositing contributions and making expenditures for the candidate or political committee.
(b) The checks for such account shall contain, as a minimum, the following information:
1. The name of the campaign account of the candidate or political committee.
2. The account number and the name of the bank.
3. The exact amount of the expenditure.
4. The signature of the campaign treasurer or deputy treasurer.
5. The exact purpose for which the expenditure is authorized.
6. The name of the payee.
(2)(a) For purposes of this section, debit cards are considered bank checks, if:
1. Debit cards are obtained from the same bank that has been designated as the candidate’s or political committee’s primary campaign depository.
2. Debit cards are issued in the name of the treasurer, deputy treasurer, or authorized user and contain the name of the campaign account of the candidate or political committee.
3. No more than three debit cards are requested and issued.
4. The person using the debit card does not receive cash as part of, or independent of, any transaction for goods or services.
5. All receipts for debit card transactions contain:
a. The last four digits of the debit card number.
b. The exact amount of the expenditure.
c. The name of the payee.
d. The signature of the campaign treasurer, deputy treasurer, or authorized user.
e. The exact purpose for which the expenditure is authorized.

Any information required by this subparagraph but not included on the debit card transaction receipt may be handwritten on, or attached to, the receipt by the authorized user before submission to the treasurer.

(b) Debit cards are not subject to the requirements of paragraph (1)(b).
(3) The campaign treasurer, deputy treasurer, or authorized user who signs the check shall be responsible for the completeness and accuracy of the information on such check and for insuring that such expenditure is an authorized expenditure.
(4) No candidate, campaign manager, treasurer, deputy treasurer, or political committee or any officer or agent thereof, or any person acting on behalf of any of the foregoing, shall authorize any expenses, nor shall any campaign treasurer or deputy treasurer sign a check drawn on the primary campaign account for any purpose, unless there are sufficient funds on deposit in the primary depository account of the candidate or political committee to pay the full amount of the authorized expense, to honor all other checks drawn on such account, which checks are outstanding, and to meet all expenses previously authorized but not yet paid. However, an expense may be incurred for the purchase of goods or services if there are sufficient funds on deposit in the primary depository account to pay the full amount of the incurred expense, to honor all checks drawn on such account, which checks are outstanding, and to meet all other expenses previously authorized but not yet paid, provided that payment for such goods or services is made upon final delivery and acceptance of the goods or services; and an expenditure from petty cash pursuant to the provisions of s. 106.12 may be authorized, if there is a sufficient amount of money in the petty cash fund to pay for such expenditure. Payment for credit card purchases shall be made pursuant to s. 106.125. Any expense incurred or authorized in excess of such funds on deposit shall, in addition to other penalties provided by law, constitute a violation of this chapter. As used in this subsection, the term “sufficient funds on deposit in the primary depository account of the candidate or political committee” means that the funds at issue have been delivered for deposit to the financial institution at which such account is maintained. The term shall not be construed to mean that such funds are available for withdrawal in accordance with the deposit rules or the funds availability policies of such financial institution.
(5) A candidate who withdraws his or her candidacy, becomes an unopposed candidate, or is eliminated as a candidate or elected to office may expend funds from the campaign account to:
(a) Purchase “thank you” advertising for up to 75 days after he or she withdraws, becomes unopposed, or is eliminated or elected.
(b) Pay for items which were obligated before he or she withdrew, became unopposed, or was eliminated or elected.
(c) Pay for expenditures necessary to close down the campaign office and to prepare final campaign reports.
(d) Dispose of surplus funds as provided in s. 106.141.
(6) A candidate who makes a loan to his or her campaign and reports the loan as required by s. 106.07 may be reimbursed for the loan at any time the campaign account has sufficient funds to repay the loan and satisfy its other obligations.
History.s. 11, ch. 73-128; s. 8, ch. 74-200; s. 48, ch. 77-175; s. 2, ch. 78-403; s. 10, ch. 79-365; s. 8, ch. 85-226; s. 13, ch. 89-256; s. 14, ch. 91-107; s. 643, ch. 95-147; s. 25, ch. 2002-17; s. 4, ch. 2002-197; s. 64, ch. 2011-40; s. 14, ch. 2013-37.
106.113 Expenditures by local governments.
(1) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Local government” means:
1. A county, municipality, school district, or other political subdivision in this state; and
2. Any department, agency, board, bureau, district, commission, authority, or similar body of a county, municipality, school district, or other political subdivision of this state.
(b) “Public funds” means all moneys under the jurisdiction or control of the local government.
(2) A local government or a person acting on behalf of local government may not expend or authorize the expenditure of, and a person or group may not accept, public funds for a political advertisement or electioneering communication concerning an issue, referendum, or amendment, including any state question, that is subject to a vote of the electors. This subsection does not apply to an electioneering communication from a local government or a person acting on behalf of a local government which is limited to factual information.
(3) With the exception of the prohibitions specified in subsection (2), this section does not preclude an elected official of the local government from expressing an opinion on any issue at any time.
History.s. 1, ch. 2009-125.
106.12 Petty cash funds allowed.
(1) Each campaign treasurer designated pursuant to s. 106.021(1) for a candidate or political committee is authorized to withdraw from the primary campaign account, until the close of the last day for qualifying for office, the amount of $500 per calendar quarter reporting period for the purpose of providing a petty cash fund for the candidate or political committee.
(2) Following the close of the last day for qualifying and until the last election in a given election period in which the political committee participates, the campaign treasurer of each political committee is authorized to withdraw the following amount each week from the primary depository campaign account for the purpose of providing a petty cash fund for the political committee, and, following the close of the last day for qualifying and until the election at which such candidate is eliminated or elected to office, or the time at which the candidate becomes unopposed, the campaign treasurer of each candidate is authorized to withdraw the following amount each week from the primary depository campaign account for the purpose of providing a petty cash fund for the candidate:
(a) For all candidates for nomination or election on a statewide basis, $500 per week.
(b) For all other candidates and all political committees, $100 per week.
(3) The petty cash fund so provided may be spent only in amounts less than $100 and only for office supplies, transportation expenses, and other necessities. Petty cash may not be used for the purchase of time, space, or services from communications media as defined in s. 106.011.
History.s. 12, ch. 73-128; s. 48, ch. 77-175; s. 9, ch. 85-226; s. 5, ch. 2002-197; s. 20, ch. 2013-37.
106.125 Credit cards; conditions on use.Any candidate for statewide office or any political committee created to support or oppose any candidate for statewide office or to support or oppose any statewide issue may obtain, and use in making travel-related campaign expenditures, credit cards. The obtention and use of credit cards by any such candidate or political committee shall be subject to the following conditions:
(1) Credit cards may be obtained only from the same bank which has been designated as the candidate’s or political committee’s primary campaign depository.
(2) Credit cards shall be in the name of the candidate or political committee and shall reflect that the account is a campaign account.
(3) Before a credit card may be used, a copy of the agreement or contract between the candidate and the bank, or the political committee and the bank, and a list of all persons who have been authorized to use the card shall be filed with the Secretary of State.
(4) All credit cards issued to candidates or political committees shall expire no later than midnight of the last day of the month of the general election.
(5) Each statement rendered by the issuer of a credit card shall be paid upon receipt.
(6) Campaign travel-related expenditures shall include transportation, lodging, meals, and other expenses incurred in connection with traveling for campaign purposes.

This section shall not be deemed to preclude the use of advance payments by a check drawn on the primary depository account for travel-related expenses. The treasurer shall require an accounting of actual expenses and reconcile any overpayment or underpayment to the original payee.

History.s. 11, ch. 79-365; s. 2, ch. 86-134.
106.14 Utilities; deposits; prior authorization.
(1) Utility companies providing utilities services to a candidate or political committee shall charge a deposit sufficient to meet all anticipated charges during a billing period.
(2) Authorization and payment for utilities used during the billing period must be made by the candidate or political committee when the bill is received from a utility company.
History.s. 14, ch. 73-128; s. 48, ch. 77-175; s. 5, ch. 78-403; s. 59, ch. 79-400; s. 2, ch. 85-63; s. 14, ch. 89-256.
106.1405 Use of campaign funds.A candidate or the spouse of a candidate may not use funds on deposit in a campaign account of such candidate to defray normal living expenses for the candidate or the candidate’s family, other than expenses actually incurred for transportation, meals, and lodging by the candidate or a family member during travel in the course of the campaign.
History.s. 49, ch. 77-175; s. 53, ch. 81-259; s. 644, ch. 95-147; s. 10, ch. 97-13.
106.141 Disposition of surplus funds by candidates.
(1) Except as provided in subsection (6), each candidate who withdraws his or her candidacy, becomes an unopposed candidate, or is eliminated as a candidate or elected to office shall, within 90 days, dispose of the funds on deposit in his or her campaign account and file a report reflecting the disposition of all remaining funds. Such candidate may not accept any contributions, nor may any person accept contributions on behalf of such candidate, after the candidate withdraws his or her candidacy, becomes unopposed, or is eliminated or elected. However, if a candidate receives a refund check after all surplus funds have been disposed of, the check may be endorsed by the candidate and the refund disposed of under this section. An amended report must be filed showing the refund and subsequent disposition.
(2) Any candidate required to dispose of funds pursuant to this section may, before such disposition, be reimbursed by the campaign, in full or in part, for any reported contributions by the candidate to the campaign.
(3) The campaign treasurer of a candidate who withdraws his or her candidacy, becomes unopposed, or is eliminated as a candidate or elected to office and who has funds on deposit in a separate interest-bearing account or certificate of deposit shall, within 7 days after the date of becoming unopposed or the date of such withdrawal, elimination, or election, transfer such funds and the accumulated interest earned thereon to the campaign account of the candidate for disposal under this section. However, if the funds are in an account in which penalties will apply for withdrawal within the 7-day period, the campaign treasurer shall transfer such funds and the accumulated interest earned thereon as soon as the funds can be withdrawn without penalty, or within 90 days after the candidate becomes unopposed, withdraws his or her candidacy, or is eliminated or elected, whichever comes first.
(4)(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b), any candidate required to dispose of funds pursuant to this section shall, at the option of the candidate, dispose of such funds by any of the following means, or any combination thereof:
1. Return pro rata to each contributor the funds that have not been spent or obligated.
2. Donate the funds that have not been spent or obligated to a charitable organization or organizations that meet the qualifications of s. 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
3. Give not more than $25,000 of the funds that have not been spent or obligated to the affiliated party committee or political party of which such candidate is a member.
4. Give the funds that have not been spent or obligated:
a. In the case of a candidate for state office, to the state, to be deposited in either the 1Election Campaign Financing Trust Fund or the General Revenue Fund, as designated by the candidate; or
b. In the case of a candidate for an office of a political subdivision, to such political subdivision, to be deposited in the general fund thereof.
(b) Any candidate required to dispose of funds pursuant to this section who has received contributions pursuant to the Florida Election Campaign Financing Act shall, after all monetary commitments pursuant to s. 106.11(5)(b) and (c) have been met, return all surplus campaign funds to the General Revenue Fund.
(5) A candidate elected to office or a candidate who will be elected to office by virtue of his or her being unopposed may, in addition to the disposition methods provided in subsection (4), transfer from the campaign account to an office account any amount of the funds on deposit in such campaign account up to:
(a) Fifty thousand dollars, for a candidate for statewide office. The Governor and Lieutenant Governor shall be considered separate candidates for the purpose of this section.
(b) Ten thousand dollars, for a candidate for multicounty office.
(c) Ten thousand dollars multiplied by the number of years in the term of office for which elected, for a candidate for legislative office.
(d) Five thousand dollars multiplied by the number of years in the term of office for which elected, for a candidate for county office or for a candidate in any election conducted on less than a countywide basis.
(e) Six thousand dollars, for a candidate for retention as a justice of the Supreme Court.
(f) Three thousand dollars, for a candidate for retention as a judge of a district court of appeal.
(g) Three thousand dollars, for a candidate for county court judge or circuit judge.

The office account established pursuant to this subsection shall be separate from any personal or other account. Any funds so transferred by a candidate shall be used only for legitimate expenses in connection with the candidate’s public office. Such expenses may include travel expenses incurred by the officer or a staff member; personal taxes payable on office account funds by the candidate or elected public official; professional services provided by a certified public accountant or attorney for preparation of the elected public official’s financial disclosure filing pursuant to s. 112.3144 or s. 112.3145; costs to prepare, print, produce, and mail holiday cards or newsletters about the elected public official’s public business to constituents if such correspondence does not constitute a political advertisement, independent expenditure, or electioneering communication as provided in s. 106.011; fees or dues to religious, civic, or charitable organizations of which the elected public official is a member; items of modest value such as flowers, greeting cards, or personal notes given as a substitute for, or in association with, an elected public official’s personal attendance at a constituent’s special event or family occasion, such as the birth of a child, graduation, wedding, or funeral; personal expenses incurred by the elected public official in connection with attending a constituent meeting or event where public policy is discussed, if such meetings or events are limited to no more than once a week; or expenses incurred in the operation of the elected public official’s office, including the employment of additional staff. The funds may be deposited in a savings account; however, all deposits, withdrawals, and interest earned thereon shall be reported at the appropriate reporting period. If a candidate is reelected to office or elected to another office and has funds remaining in his or her office account, he or she may transfer surplus campaign funds to the office account. At no time may the funds in the office account exceed the limitation imposed by this subsection. Upon leaving public office, any person who has funds in an office account pursuant to this subsection remaining on deposit shall use such funds to pay for professional services provided by a certified public accountant or attorney for preparation of the elected public official’s final financial disclosure filing pursuant to s. 112.3144 or s. 112.3145, or give such funds to a charitable organization that meets the requirements of s. 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or, in the case of a state officer, to the state to be deposited in the General Revenue Fund or, in the case of an officer of a political subdivision, to the political subdivision to be deposited in the general fund thereof.

(6)(a) For purposes of this subsection, the term “same office” with respect to legislative office means an office in the same legislative body, irrespective of district number or designation or geographic boundary.
(b) A candidate elected to state office or a candidate who will be elected to state office by virtue of his or her being unopposed after candidate qualifying ends, may retain up to $20,000 in his or her campaign account, or in an interest-bearing account or certificate of deposit, for use in his or her next campaign for the same office, in addition to the disposition methods provided in subsections (4) and (5). All requirements applicable to candidate campaign accounts under this chapter, including disclosure requirements applicable to candidate campaign accounts, limitations on expenditures, and limitations on contributions, apply to any retained funds.
(c) If a candidate who has retained funds under this subsection does not qualify as a candidate for reelection to the same office, all retained funds shall be disposed of as otherwise required by this section or s. 106.11(5) within 90 days after the last day of candidate qualifying for that office. Requirements in this section applicable to the disposal of surplus funds, including reporting requirements, are applicable to the disposal of retained funds.
(7) Before disposing of funds pursuant to subsection (4), transferring funds into an office account pursuant to subsection (5), or retaining funds for reelection pursuant to subsection (6), any candidate who filed an oath stating that he or she was unable to pay the fee for verification of petition signatures without imposing an undue burden on his or her personal resources or on resources otherwise available to him or her shall reimburse the state or local governmental entity, whichever is applicable, for such waived fee. If there are insufficient funds in the account to pay the full amount of the fee, the remaining funds shall be disbursed in the above manner until no funds remain. All funds disbursed pursuant to this subsection shall be remitted to the qualifying officer. Any reimbursement for petition verification costs which are reimbursable by the state shall be forwarded by the qualifying officer to the state for deposit in the General Revenue Fund.
(8)(a) Any candidate required to dispose of campaign funds pursuant to this section shall do so within the time required by this section and, on or before the date by which such disposition is to have been made, shall file with the officer with whom reports are required to be filed pursuant to s. 106.07 a form prescribed by the Division of Elections listing:
1. The name and address of each person or unit of government to whom any of the funds were distributed and the amounts thereof;
2. The name and address of each person to whom an expenditure was made, together with the amount thereof and purpose therefor;
3. The amount of such funds transferred to an office account by the candidate, together with the name and address of the bank, savings and loan association, or credit union in which the office account is located; and
4. The amount of such funds retained pursuant to subsection (6), together with the name and address of the bank, savings and loan association, or credit union in which the retained funds are located.

Such report shall be signed by the candidate and the campaign treasurer and certified as true and correct pursuant to s. 106.07.

(b) The filing officer shall notify each candidate at least 14 days before the date the report is due.
(c) Any candidate failing to file a report on the designated due date shall be subject to a fine as provided in s. 106.07 for submitting late termination reports.
(9) Any candidate elected to office who transfers surplus campaign funds into an office account pursuant to subsection (5) shall file a report on the 10th day following the end of each calendar quarter until the account is closed. Such reports shall contain the name and address of each person to whom any disbursement of funds was made, together with the amount thereof and the purpose therefor, and the name and address of any person from whom the elected candidate received any refund or reimbursement and the amount thereof. Such reports shall be on forms prescribed by the Division of Elections, signed by the elected candidate, certified as true and correct, and filed with the officer with whom campaign reports were filed pursuant to s. 106.07(2).
(10) Any candidate, or any person on behalf of a candidate, who accepts contributions after such candidate has withdrawn his or her candidacy, after the candidate has become an unopposed candidate, or after the candidate has been eliminated as a candidate or elected to office commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(11) Any candidate who is required by the provisions of this section to dispose of funds in his or her campaign account and who fails to dispose of the funds in the manner provided in this section commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
History.s. 50, ch. 77-175; s. 6, ch. 79-378; s. 60, ch. 79-400; s. 2, ch. 80-292; s. 54, ch. 81-259; s. 28, ch. 81-304; s. 1, ch. 82-404; s. 38, ch. 84-302; s. 10, ch. 85-226; s. 2, ch. 86-7; s. 2, ch. 86-276; s. 11, ch. 87-363; s. 15, ch. 89-256; s. 34, ch. 90-315; s. 15, ch. 91-107; s. 645, ch. 95-147; ss. 15, 16, 53, ch. 97-13; s. 6, ch. 2002-197; s. 20, ch. 2004-252; s. 70, ch. 2005-277; ss. 16, 30, ch. 2011-6; s. 65, ch. 2011-40; HJR 7105, 2011 Regular Session; s. 15, ch. 2013-37.
1Note.The trust fund expired, effective November 4, 1996, by operation of s. 19(f), Art. III of the State Constitution.
106.143 Political advertisements circulated prior to election; requirements.
(1)(a) Any political advertisement that is paid for by a candidate, except a write-in candidate, and that is published, displayed, or circulated before, or on the day of, any election must prominently state:
1. “Political advertisement paid for and approved by   (name of candidate)  ,   (party affiliation)  , for   (office sought)  ”; or
2. “Paid by   (name of candidate)  ,   (party affiliation)  , for   (office sought)  .”
(b) Any political advertisement that is paid for by a write-in candidate and that is published, displayed, or circulated before, or on the day of, any election must prominently state:
1. “Political advertisement paid for and approved by   (name of candidate)  , write-in candidate, for   (office sought)  ”; or
2. “Paid by   (name of candidate)  , write-in candidate, for   (office sought)  .”
(c) Any other political advertisement published, displayed, or circulated before, or on the day of, any election must prominently:
1. Be marked “paid political advertisement” or with the abbreviation “pd. pol. adv.”
2. State the name and address of the persons paying for the advertisement.
3. State whether the advertisement and the cost of production is paid for or provided in kind by or at the expense of the entity publishing, displaying, broadcasting, or circulating the political advertisement.
(d) Any political advertisement made pursuant to s. 106.021(3)(d) must prominently state the name and address of the political committee or political party paying for the advertisement.
(2) Political advertisements made as in-kind contributions from a political party must prominently state: “Paid political advertisement paid for in-kind by   (name of political party)  . Approved by   (name of person, party affiliation, and office sought in the political advertisement)  .”
(3) Any political advertisement of a candidate running for partisan office shall express the name of the political party of which the candidate is seeking nomination or is the nominee. If the candidate for partisan office is running as a candidate with no party affiliation, any political advertisement of the candidate must state that the candidate has no party affiliation. A political advertisement of a candidate running for nonpartisan office may not state the candidate’s political party affiliation. This section does not prohibit a political advertisement from stating the candidate’s partisan-related experience. A candidate for nonpartisan office is prohibited from campaigning based on party affiliation.
(4) It is unlawful for any candidate or person on behalf of a candidate to represent that any person or organization supports such candidate, unless the person or organization so represented has given specific approval in writing to the candidate to make such representation. However, this subsection does not apply to:
(a) Editorial endorsement by any newspaper, radio or television station, or other recognized news medium.
(b) Publication by a party committee advocating the candidacy of its nominees.
(5)(a) Any political advertisement not paid for by a candidate, including those paid for by a political party or affiliated party committee, other than an independent expenditure, offered on behalf of a candidate must be approved in advance by the candidate. Such political advertisement must expressly state that the content of the advertisement was approved by the candidate, unless the political advertisement is published, displayed, or circulated in compliance with subparagraph (1)(a)2., and must state who paid for the advertisement. The candidate shall provide a written statement of authorization to the newspaper, radio station, television station, or other medium for each such advertisement submitted for publication, display, broadcast, or other distribution.
(b) Any person who makes an independent expenditure for a political advertisement shall provide a written statement that no candidate has approved the advertisement to the newspaper, radio station, television station, or other medium for each such advertisement submitted for publication, display, broadcast, or other distribution. The advertisement must also contain a statement that no candidate has approved the advertisement.
(6) No political advertisement of a candidate who is not an incumbent of the office for which the candidate is running shall use the word “re-elect.” Additionally, such advertisement must include the word “for” between the candidate’s name and the office for which the candidate is running, in order that incumbency is not implied. This subsection does not apply to bumper stickers or items designed to be worn by a person.
(7) Political advertisements paid for by a political party or an affiliated party committee may use names and abbreviations as registered under s. 103.081 in the disclaimer.
(8) This section does not apply to novelty items having a retail value of $10 or less which support, but do not oppose, a candidate or issue.
(9) Any political advertisement which is published, displayed, or produced in a language other than English may provide the information required by this section in the language used in the advertisement.
(10) This section does not apply to any campaign message or political advertisement used by a candidate and the candidate’s supporters or by a political committee if the message or advertisement is:
(a) Designed to be worn by a person.
(b) Placed as a paid link on an Internet website, provided the message or advertisement is no more than 200 characters in length and the link directs the user to another Internet website that complies with subsection (1).
(c) Placed as a graphic or picture link where compliance with the requirements of this section is not reasonably practical due to the size of the graphic or picture link and the link directs the user to another Internet website that complies with subsection (1).
(d) Placed at no cost on an Internet website for which there is no cost to post content for public users.
(e) Placed or distributed on an unpaid profile or account which is available to the public without charge or on a social networking Internet website, as long as the source of the message or advertisement is patently clear from the content or format of the message or advertisement. A candidate or political committee may prominently display a statement indicating that the website or account is an official website or account of the candidate or political committee and is approved by the candidate or political committee. A website or account may not be marked as official without prior approval by the candidate or political committee.
(f) Distributed as a text message or other message via Short Message Service, provided the message is no more than 200 characters in length or requires the recipient to sign up or opt in to receive it.
(g) Connected with or included in any software application or accompanying function, provided that the user signs up, opts in, downloads, or otherwise accesses the application from or through a website that complies with subsection (1).
(h) Sent by a third-party user from or through a campaign or committee’s website, provided the website complies with subsection (1).
(i) Contained in or distributed through any other technology-related item, service, or device for which compliance with subsection (1) is not reasonably practical due to the size or nature of such item, service, or device as available, or the means of displaying the message or advertisement makes compliance with subsection (1) impracticable.
(11) Any person who willfully violates any provision of this section is subject to the civil penalties prescribed in s. 106.265.
History.s. 8, ch. 26870, 1951; s. 1, ch. 61-145; s. 21, ch. 65-379; s. 57, ch. 71-136; s. 30, ch. 73-128; s. 52, ch. 77-175; s. 30, ch. 81-304; s. 16, ch. 89-256; s. 35, ch. 90-315; s. 16, ch. 91-107; s. 646, ch. 95-147; s. 17, ch. 97-13; s. 18, ch. 99-318; s. 5, ch. 2004-252; s. 46, ch. 2007-30; s. 18, ch. 2010-167; ss. 17, 30, ch. 2011-6; s. 66, ch. 2011-40; HJR 7105, 2011 Regular Session; s. 9, ch. 2012-5.
Note.Former s. 104.37.
106.1435 Usage and removal of political campaign advertisements.
(1) Each candidate, whether for a federal, state, county, or district office, shall make a good faith effort to remove all of his or her political campaign advertisements within 30 days after:
(a) Withdrawal of his or her candidacy;
(b) Having been eliminated as a candidate; or
(c) Being elected to office.

However, a candidate is not expected to remove those political campaign advertisements which are in the form of signs used by an outdoor advertising business as provided in chapter 479. The provisions herein do not apply to political campaign advertisements placed on motor vehicles or to campaign messages designed to be worn by persons.

(2) If political campaign advertisements are not removed within the specified period, the political subdivision or governmental entity has the authority to remove such advertisements and may charge the candidate the actual cost for such removal. Funds collected for removing such advertisements shall be deposited to the general revenue of the political subdivision.
(3) Pursuant to chapter 479, no political campaign advertisements shall be erected, posted, painted, tacked, nailed, or otherwise displayed, placed, or located on or above any state or county road right-of-way.
(4) The officer before whom a candidate qualifies for office shall notify the candidate, in writing, of the provisions in this section.
(5) This provision does not preclude municipalities from imposing additional or more stringent requirements on the usage and removal of political campaign advertisements.
History.s. 1, ch. 84-221; s. 20, ch. 84-302; s. 14, ch. 87-224; s. 647, ch. 95-147.
106.1437 Miscellaneous advertisements.Any advertisement, other than a political advertisement, independent expenditure, or electioneering communication, on billboards, bumper stickers, radio, or television, or in a newspaper, a magazine, or a periodical, intended to influence public policy or the vote of a public official, shall clearly designate the sponsor of such advertisement by including a clearly readable statement of sponsorship. If the advertisement is broadcast on television, the advertisement shall also contain a verbal statement of sponsorship. This section does not apply to an editorial endorsement. For purposes of this chapter, an expenditure made for, or in furtherance of, a miscellaneous advertisement is not considered to be a contribution to or on behalf of a candidate, and does not constitute an independent expenditure. Such expenditures are not subject to the limitations applicable to independent expenditures.
History.s. 36, ch. 90-315; s. 6, ch. 2004-252; s. 27, ch. 2010-167; ss. 18, 30, ch. 2011-6; s. 67, ch. 2011-40; HJR 7105, 2011 Regular Session.
106.1439 Electioneering communications; disclaimers.
(1) Any electioneering communication, other than a telephone call, shall prominently state: “Paid electioneering communication paid for by   (Name and address of person paying for the communication)  .”
(2) Any electioneering communication telephone call shall identify the persons or organizations sponsoring the call by stating either: “Paid for by   (insert name of persons or organizations sponsoring the call)  .” or “Paid for on behalf of   (insert name of persons or organizations authorizing call)  .” This subsection does not apply to any telephone call in which the individual making the call is not being paid and the individuals participating in the call know each other prior to the call.
(3) Any person who fails to include the disclaimer prescribed in this section in any electioneering communication that is required to contain such disclaimer commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
History.s. 7, ch. 2004-252; s. 28, ch. 2010-167; ss. 19, 30, ch. 2011-6; HJR 7105, 2011 Regular Session.
106.147 Telephone solicitation; disclosure requirements; prohibitions; exemptions; penalties.
(1)(a) Any telephone call supporting or opposing a candidate, elected public official, or ballot proposal must identify the persons or organizations sponsoring the call by stating either: “paid for by  ” (insert name of persons or organizations sponsoring the call) or “paid for on behalf of  ” (insert name of persons or organizations authorizing call). This paragraph does not apply to any telephone call in which both the individual making the call is not being paid and the individuals participating in the call know each other prior to the call.
(b) Any telephone call conducted for the purpose of polling respondents concerning a candidate or elected public official which is a part of a series of like telephone calls that consists of fewer than 1,000 completed calls and averages more than 2 minutes in duration is presumed to be a political poll and not subject to the provisions of paragraph (a).
(c) No telephone call shall state or imply that the caller represents any person or organization unless the person or organization so represented has given specific approval in writing to make such representation.
(d) No telephone call shall state or imply that the caller represents a nonexistent person or organization.
(2) Any telephone call, not conducted by independent expenditure, which expressly advocates for or against a candidate or ballot proposal requires prior written authorization by the candidate or sponsor of the ballot proposal that the call supports. A copy of such written authorization must be placed on file with the qualifying officer by the candidate or sponsor of the ballot proposal prior to the time the calls commence.
(3)(a) Any person who willfully violates any provision of this section commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(b) For purposes of paragraph (a), the term “person” includes any candidate; any officer of any political committee, affiliated party committee, or political party executive committee; any officer, partner, attorney, or other representative of a corporation, partnership, or other business entity; and any agent or other person acting on behalf of any candidate, political committee, affiliated party committee, political party executive committee, or corporation, partnership, or other business entity.
History.s. 18, ch. 97-13; s. 31, ch. 2008-95; s. 29, ch. 2010-167; ss. 20, 30, ch. 2011-6; HJR 7105, 2011 Regular Session; s. 21, ch. 2013-37.
106.1475 Telephone solicitation; registered agent requirements; penalty.
(1) Any person or organization that conducts any business in this state which consists of making paid telephone calls supporting or opposing any candidate or elected public official must, prior to conducting such business, have and continuously maintain, for at least 180 days following the cessation of such business activities in the state, a registered agent for the purpose of any service of process, notice, or demand required or authorized by law and must file with the division a notice of such registered agent. Such registered agent must be an individual who is a resident of this state, a domestic corporation, or a foreign corporation authorized to do business in this state. However, this subsection does not apply to any person or organization already lawfully registered to conduct business in this state.
(2) For purposes of this section, conducting business in this state as specified in subsection (1) includes both placing telephone calls from a location in this state and placing telephone calls from a location outside this state to individuals located in this state.
(3)(a) The division shall create and maintain forms for the notice required by subsection (1), which, at a minimum, must elicit all of the following information:
1. The name, address, and telephone number of the registered agent.
2. The name, address, and telephone number of the person or organization conducting business in this state as specified in subsection (1).
(b) The person or organization conducting business in this state as specified in subsection (1) must immediately notify the division of any changes in the information required in paragraph (a).
(4) Any person or organization that violates this section commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
History.s. 19, ch. 97-13.
106.15 Certain acts prohibited.
(1) No person shall pay money or give anything of value for the privilege of speaking at a political meeting in the furtherance of his or her candidacy, nor shall anyone speaking for such a person pay money or give anything of value for such privilege.
(2) No candidate, in the furtherance of his or her candidacy for nomination or election to public office in any election, shall use any state-owned aircraft or motor vehicle, as provided in chapter 287, solely for the purpose of furthering his or her candidacy. However, in the event a candidate uses any state-owned aircraft or motor vehicle to conduct official state business and while on such trip performs any function in the furtherance of his or her candidacy for nomination or election to public office in any election, the candidate shall prorate the expenses incurred and reimburse the appropriate agency for any trip not exclusively for state business and shall pay either a prorated share of all fixed and variable expenses related to the ownership, operation, and use of such aircraft or one-half of the total fixed and variable expenses related to the ownership, operation, and use of such aircraft, whichever is greater. The reimbursement shall be made from the campaign account of the candidate.
(3) A candidate may not, in the furtherance of his or her candidacy for nomination or election to public office in any election, use the services of any state, county, municipal, or district officer or employee during working hours.
(4) No person shall make and no person shall solicit or knowingly accept any political contribution in a building owned by a governmental entity. For purposes of this subsection, “accept” means to receive a contribution by personal hand delivery from a contributor or the contributor’s agent. This subsection shall not apply when a government-owned building or any portion thereof is rented for the specific purpose of holding a campaign fund raiser.
(5) Any person violating the provisions of this section commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
History.s. 15, ch. 73-128; s. 9, ch. 74-200; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 54, ch. 77-175; s. 61, ch. 79-400; s. 31, ch. 81-304; s. 28, ch. 83-217; s. 2, ch. 83-304; s. 16, ch. 91-45; s. 17, ch. 91-107; s. 648, ch. 95-147; s. 2, ch. 97-223; s. 7, ch. 2002-197.
106.16 Limitation on certain rates and charges.No person or corporation within the state publishing a newspaper or other periodical or operating a radio or television station or network of stations in Florida shall charge one candidate for state or county public office for political advertising in a county, or for political broadcasts in a county, at a rate in excess of that charged another political candidate.
History.s. 16, ch. 73-128; s. 55, ch. 77-175; s. 18, ch. 89-256.
106.161 Air time available at the lowest unit rate.To the extent permitted by federal law, all broadcast radio and television stations and all cable television stations shall make air time available to candidates for public office at the lowest unit rate.
History.s. 35, ch. 91-107.
106.165 Use of closed captioning and descriptive narrative in all television broadcasts.Each candidate, political party, affiliated party committee, and political committee must use closed captioning and descriptive narrative in all television broadcasts regulated by the Federal Communications Commission that are on behalf of, or sponsored by, a candidate, political party, affiliated party committee, or political committee or must file a written statement with the qualifying officer setting forth the reasons for not doing so. Failure to file this statement with the appropriate qualifying officer constitutes a violation of the Florida Election Code and is under the jurisdiction of the Florida Elections Commission.
History.s. 7, ch. 2002-281; s. 71, ch. 2005-277; ss. 21, 30, ch. 2011-6; HJR 7105, 2011 Regular Session; s. 29, ch. 2012-116.
Note.Former s. 98.122.
106.17 Polls and surveys relating to candidacies.Any candidate, political committee, electioneering communication organization, affiliated party committee, or state or county executive committee of a political party may authorize or conduct a political poll, survey, index, or measurement of any kind relating to candidacy for public office so long as the candidate, political committee, electioneering communication organization, affiliated party committee, or political party maintains complete jurisdiction over the poll in all its aspects. State and county executive committees of a political party or an affiliated party committee may authorize and conduct political polls for the purpose of determining the viability of potential candidates. Such poll results may be shared with potential candidates, and expenditures incurred by state and county executive committees or an affiliated party committee for potential candidate polls are not contributions to the potential candidates.
History.s. 17, ch. 73-128; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 56, ch. 77-175; s. 32, ch. 81-304; s. 47, ch. 2007-30; s. 30, ch. 2010-167; ss. 22, 30, ch. 2011-6; s. 68, ch. 2011-40; HJR 7105, 2011 Regular Session; s. 22, ch. 2013-37.
106.18 When a candidate’s name to be omitted from ballot.
(1) The name of a candidate shall not be printed on the ballot for an election if the candidate is convicted of violating s. 106.19.
(2) Any candidate whose name is removed from the ballot pursuant to subsection (1) is disqualified as a candidate for office. If the disqualification of such candidate results in a vacancy in nomination, such vacancy shall be filled by a person other than such candidate in the manner provided by law.
(3) No certificate of election shall be granted to any candidate until all preelection reports required by s. 106.07 have been filed in accordance with the provisions of such section. However, no candidate shall be prevented from receiving a certificate of election for failure to file any copy of a report required by this chapter.
History.s. 18, ch. 73-128; s. 57, ch. 77-175; s. 11, ch. 85-226; s. 37, ch. 90-315; s. 3, ch. 90-338.
106.19 Violations by candidates, persons connected with campaigns, and political committees.
(1) Any candidate; campaign manager, campaign treasurer, or deputy treasurer of any candidate; committee chair, vice chair, campaign treasurer, deputy treasurer, or other officer of any political committee; agent or person acting on behalf of any candidate or political committee; or other person who knowingly and willfully:
(a) Accepts a contribution in excess of the limits prescribed by s. 106.08;
(b) Fails to report any contribution required to be reported by this chapter;
(c) Falsely reports or deliberately fails to include any information required by this chapter; or
(d) Makes or authorizes any expenditure in violation of s. 106.11(4) or any other expenditure prohibited by this chapter;

is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(2) Any candidate, campaign treasurer, or deputy treasurer; any chair, vice chair, or other officer of any political committee; any agent or person acting on behalf of any candidate or political committee; or any other person who violates paragraph (1)(a), paragraph (1)(b), or paragraph (1)(d) shall be subject to a civil penalty equal to three times the amount involved in the illegal act. Such penalty may be in addition to the penalties provided by subsection (1) and shall be paid into the General Revenue Fund of this state.
(3) A political committee sponsoring a constitutional amendment proposed by initiative which submits a petition form gathered by a paid petition circulator which does not provide the name and address of the paid petition circulator on the form is subject to the civil penalties prescribed in s. 106.265.
(4) Except as otherwise expressly stated, the failure by a candidate to comply with the requirements of this chapter has no effect upon whether the candidate has qualified for the office the candidate is seeking.
History.s. 19, ch. 73-128; s. 57, ch. 77-175; s. 62, ch. 79-400; s. 12, ch. 91-107; s. 649, ch. 95-147; ss. 24, 45, ch. 97-13; s. 8, ch. 2002-197; s. 11, ch. 2006-300; s. 69, ch. 2011-40; s. 35, ch. 2013-37.
106.191 Signatures gathered for initiative petition; effect of ch. 97-13.Any signature gathered on an authorized form for an initiative petition by a paid petition circulator which has been submitted prior to the effective date of this act may be kept and counted, if otherwise valid, and that form is not required to have the name and address of the paid petition circulator, nor is any such signature affected by the prohibition against filing an undue burden oath in lieu of paying the fee to have signatures verified, as provided by this act. However, any signature gathered on or after the effective date of this act is subject to the provisions of this act and, if payment is made to any person to solicit signatures after the effective date of this act, an undue burden oath may not be filed in lieu of paying the fee to have signatures verified. In addition, any initiative petition form approved by the Secretary of State prior to the effective date of this act may continue to be circulated.
History.s. 25, ch. 97-13.
106.21 Certificates of election not to be issued upon conviction.
(1) If a successful candidate is convicted of violating s. 106.19(1) prior to the issuance of his or her certificate of election, such certificate shall not be issued, and a vacancy shall be declared and filled as provided by law.
(2) If a successful candidate is convicted of violating s. 106.19(1) subsequent to the issuance of a certificate of election but prior to taking office, such certificate shall be rescinded by the issuing body and declared void, and a vacancy in office shall exist and be filled as provided by law.
History.s. 21, ch. 73-128; s. 57, ch. 77-175; s. 650, ch. 95-147.
106.22 Duties of the Division of Elections.It is the duty of the Division of Elections to:
(1) Prescribe forms for statements and other information required to be filed by this chapter. Such forms shall be furnished by the Department of State or office of the supervisor of elections to persons required to file such statements and information with such agency.
(2) Prepare and publish manuals or brochures setting forth recommended uniform methods of bookkeeping and reporting, and including appropriate portions of the election code, for use by persons required by this chapter to file statements.
(3) Develop a filing, coding, and cross-indexing system consonant with the purposes of this chapter.
(4) Preserve statements and other information required to be filed with the division pursuant to this chapter for a period of 10 years from date of receipt.
(5) Prepare and publish such reports as it may deem appropriate.
(6) Make, from time to time, audits and field investigations with respect to reports and statements filed under the provisions of this chapter and with respect to alleged failures to file any report or statement required under the provisions of this chapter. The division shall conduct a postelection audit of the campaign accounts of all candidates receiving contributions from the 1Election Campaign Financing Trust Fund.
(7) Report to the Florida Elections Commission any failure to file a report or information required by this chapter or any apparent violation of this chapter.
(8) Employ such personnel or contract for such services as are necessary to adequately carry out the intent of this chapter.
(9) Prescribe rules and regulations to carry out the provisions of this chapter. Such rules shall be prescribed pursuant to chapter 120.
(10) Conduct random audits with respect to reports and statements filed under this chapter and with respect to alleged failure to file any reports and statements required under this chapter.
History.s. 22, ch. 73-128; s. 57, ch. 77-175; s. 13, ch. 79-365; s. 4, ch. 84-254; s. 3, ch. 86-276; s. 9, ch. 90-338; s. 46, ch. 97-13; s. 7, ch. 2001-75; s. 72, ch. 2005-277.
1Note.The trust fund expired, effective November 4, 1996, by operation of s. 19(f), Art. III of the State Constitution.
106.23 Powers of the Division of Elections.
(1) In order to carry out the responsibilities prescribed by s. 106.22, the Division of Elections is empowered to subpoena and bring before its duly authorized representatives any person in the state, or any person doing business in the state, or any person who has filed or is required to have filed any application, document, papers, or other information with an office or agency of this state or a political subdivision thereof and to require the production of any papers, books, or other records relevant to any investigation, including the records and accounts of any bank or trust company doing business in this state. Duly authorized representatives of the division are empowered to administer all oaths and affirmations in the manner prescribed by law to witnesses who shall appear before them concerning any relevant matter. Should any witness fail to respond to the lawful subpoena of the division or, having responded, fail to answer all lawful inquiries or to turn over evidence that has been subpoenaed, the division may file a complaint before any circuit court of the state setting up such failure on the part of the witness. On the filing of such complaint, the court shall take jurisdiction of the witness and the subject matter of said complaint and shall direct the witness to respond to all lawful questions and to produce all documentary evidence in the witness’s possession which is lawfully demanded. The failure of any witness to comply with such order of the court shall constitute a direct and criminal contempt of court, and the court shall punish said witness accordingly. However, the refusal by a witness to answer inquiries or turn over evidence on the basis that such testimony or material will tend to incriminate such witness shall not be deemed refusal to comply with the provisions of this chapter.
(2) The Division of Elections shall provide advisory opinions when requested by any supervisor of elections, candidate, local officer having election-related duties, political party, affiliated party committee, political committee, or other person or organization engaged in political activity, relating to any provisions or possible violations of Florida election laws with respect to actions such supervisor, candidate, local officer having election-related duties, political party, affiliated party committee, committee, person, or organization has taken or proposes to take. Requests for advisory opinions must be submitted in accordance with rules adopted by the Department of State. A written record of all such opinions issued by the division, sequentially numbered, dated, and indexed by subject matter, shall be retained. A copy shall be sent to said person or organization upon request. Any such person or organization, acting in good faith upon such an advisory opinion, shall not be subject to any criminal penalty provided for in this chapter. The opinion, until amended or revoked, shall be binding on any person or organization who sought the opinion or with reference to whom the opinion was sought, unless material facts were omitted or misstated in the request for the advisory opinion.
History.s. 23, ch. 73-128; s. 3, ch. 76-233; s. 58, ch. 77-175; s. 651, ch. 95-147; s. 47, ch. 97-13; s. 8, ch. 2001-75; ss. 23, 30, ch. 2011-6; HJR 7105, 2011 Regular Session; s. 23, ch. 2013-37.
106.24 Florida Elections Commission; membership; powers; duties.
(1)(a) There is created within the Department of Legal Affairs, Office of the Attorney General, a Florida Elections Commission, hereinafter referred to as the commission. The commission shall be a separate budget entity and the agency head for all purposes. The commission shall not be subject to control, supervision, or direction by the Department of Legal Affairs or the Attorney General in the performance of its duties, including, but not limited to, personnel, purchasing transactions involving real or personal property, and budgetary matters.
(b) The commission shall be composed of nine members. The President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the minority leader of the Senate, and the minority leader of the House of Representatives shall each provide a list of six nominees to the Governor for initial appointment to the commission. The Governor may appoint two members to the commission from each list. If the Governor refuses to appoint two members from any of the respective lists, the Governor shall so inform the nominating officer and the nominating officer shall submit a new list of six nominees within 30 days. The new list must contain at least three nominees not included on the prior nominating list. The ninth commission member, who shall serve as chair of the commission, shall be appointed by the Governor. Each member of the commission is subject to confirmation by the Senate. The chair of the commission shall serve for a maximum term of 4 years, such term to run concurrently with the term of the appointing Governor and until a future successor is appointed. Other members of the commission shall serve for 4-year terms and until their successors are appointed. An individual who is a lobbyist at the state or local government level may not serve as a member of the commission, except that this prohibition shall not apply to an individual who is a member of the commission on July 1, 2002, until the expiration of his or her current term. A member of the commission is prohibited from lobbying state or local government while he or she is a member of the commission, except that this prohibition shall not apply to an individual who is a member of the commission on July 1, 2002, until the expiration of his or her current term.
(c) As the terms of members expire, excluding the chair, successors shall be appointed to 4-year terms and shall serve until their successors are appointed. Six months prior to the expiration of a commission member’s term, the ranking officer of the political party in the respective house originally nominating the commission member shall submit a list of three nominees to the Governor. The Governor may appoint one of the listed nominees to the commission. If no nominee is selected from the list, the Governor shall so inform the nominating officer, who shall submit a list of three different nominees to the Governor within 30 days. Vacancies on the commission shall expeditiously be filled for the unexpired terms in the same manner.
(d) As the term of the chair of the commission expires or becomes vacant, a successor shall be appointed in the manner of the original appointment, and shall serve for a maximum of 4 years, such term to run concurrently with the term of the appointing Governor and until a future successor is appointed.
(e) In no event may any member of the commission serve more than two full terms. Members of the commission shall be paid travel and per diem as provided in s. 112.061 while in performance of their duties and in traveling to, from, and upon same. Of the nine members of the commission, no more than five members shall be from the same political party at any one time.
(2) No member of the commission shall be a member of any county, state, or national committee of a political party; be an officer in any partisan political club or organization; or hold, or be a candidate for, any other public office. No person shall be appointed as a member of the commission who has held an elective public office or office in a political party within the year immediately preceding his or her appointment.
(3) The commission shall convene at the call of its chair or at the request of a majority of the members of the commission. The presence of five members is required to constitute a quorum, and the affirmative vote of the majority of the members present is required for any action or recommendation by the commission. The commission may meet in any city of the state.
(4) The commission shall appoint an executive director, who shall serve under the direction, supervision, and control of the commission. The executive director, with the consent of the commission, shall employ such staff as are necessary to adequately perform the functions of the commission, within budgetary limitations. All employees, except the executive director and attorneys, are subject to part II of chapter 110. The executive director shall serve at the pleasure of the commission and be subject to part III of chapter 110, except that the commission shall have complete authority for setting the executive director’s salary. Attorneys employed by the commission shall be subject to part V of chapter 110.
(5) Hearings shall be held before the commission, except that the chair may direct that any hearing be held before one member of the commission or a panel of less than the full commission. The commission shall adopt rules to provide for the filing of a report when hearings are held by a single commissioner or a panel, which rules shall prescribe the time for filing the report and the contents of the report.
(6) There is established in the State Treasury an Elections Commission Trust Fund to be used by the Florida Elections Commission in order to carry out its duties pursuant to ss. 106.24-106.28. The trust fund may also be used by the Secretary of State, pursuant to his or her authority under s. 97.012(14), to provide rewards for information leading to criminal convictions related to voter registration fraud, voter fraud, and vote scams.
(7) The commission shall develop a budget request pursuant to chapter 216 annually. The budget is not subject to change by the Department of Legal Affairs or the Attorney General, but it shall be submitted by the Department of Legal Affairs to the Governor for transmittal to the Legislature.
(8) The commission is authorized to contract or consult with appropriate agencies of state government for such professional assistance as may be needed in the discharge of its duties.
History.s. 24, ch. 73-128; s. 10, ch. 74-200; s. 59, ch. 77-175; s. 63, ch. 79-400; s. 1, ch. 82-46; s. 2, ch. 83-265; s. 19, ch. 89-256; s. 36, ch. 89-338; s. 38, ch. 90-315; ss. 4, 14, 15, ch. 90-338; s. 5, ch. 91-429; s. 1, ch. 93-262; s. 652, ch. 95-147; s. 48, ch. 97-13; s. 3, ch. 2002-281; s. 69, ch. 2005-277; s. 32, ch. 2008-95; s. 5, ch. 2010-16.
106.25 Reports of alleged violations to Florida Elections Commission; disposition of findings.
(1) Jurisdiction to investigate and determine violations of this chapter and chapter 104 is vested in the Florida Elections Commission; however, nothing in this section limits the jurisdiction of any other officers or agencies of government empowered by law to investigate, act upon, or dispose of alleged violations of this code.
(2) The commission shall investigate all violations of this chapter and chapter 104, but only after having received either a sworn complaint or information reported to it under this subsection by the Division of Elections. Such sworn complaint must be based upon personal information or information other than hearsay. Any person, other than the division, having information of any violation of this chapter or chapter 104 shall file a sworn complaint with the commission. The commission shall investigate only those alleged violations specifically contained within the sworn complaint. If any complainant fails to allege all violations that arise from the facts or allegations alleged in a complaint, the commission shall be barred from investigating a subsequent complaint from such complainant that is based upon such facts or allegations that were raised or could have been raised in the first complaint. If the complaint includes allegations of violations relating to expense items reimbursed by a candidate, committee, or organization to the campaign account before a sworn complaint is filed, the commission shall be barred from investigating such allegations. Such sworn complaint shall state whether a complaint of the same violation has been made to any state attorney. Within 5 days after receipt of a sworn complaint, the commission shall transmit a copy of the complaint to the alleged violator. The respondent shall have 14 days after receipt of the complaint to file an initial response, and the executive director may not determine the legal sufficiency of the complaint during that time period. If the executive director finds that the complaint is legally sufficient, the respondent shall be notified of such finding by letter, which sets forth the statutory provisions alleged to have been violated and the alleged factual basis that supports the finding. All sworn complaints alleging violations of the Florida Election Code over which the commission has jurisdiction shall be filed with the commission within 2 years after the alleged violations. The period of limitations is tolled on the day a sworn complaint is filed with the commission. The complainant may withdraw the sworn complaint at any time prior to a probable cause hearing if good cause is shown. Withdrawal shall be requested in writing, signed by the complainant, and witnessed by a notary public, stating the facts and circumstances constituting good cause. The executive director shall prepare a written recommendation regarding disposition of the request which shall be given to the commission together with the request. “Good cause” shall be determined based upon the legal sufficiency or insufficiency of the complaint to allege a violation and the reasons given by the complainant for wishing to withdraw the complaint. If withdrawal is permitted, the commission must close the investigation and the case. No further action may be taken. The complaint will become a public record at the time of withdrawal.
(3) For the purposes of commission jurisdiction, a violation shall mean the willful performance of an act prohibited by this chapter or chapter 104 or the willful failure to perform an act required by this chapter or chapter 104. The commission may not by rule determine what constitutes willfulness or further define the term “willful” for purposes of this chapter or chapter 104. Willfulness is a determination of fact; however, at the request of the respondent at any time after probable cause is found, willfulness may be considered and determined in an informal hearing before the commission.
(4) The commission shall undertake a preliminary investigation to determine if the facts alleged in a sworn complaint or a matter initiated by the division constitute probable cause to believe that a violation has occurred.
(a) When the investigator’s report is completed, the executive director shall notify the respondent that the report is completed and shall send to the respondent a copy of the investigator’s report. The investigatory file and main complaint file shall be open for inspection by the respondent and the respondent’s counsel at that time, and copies may be obtained at no more than cost.
(b) The respondent shall be given not less than 14 days from the date of mailing of the investigator’s report to file with the commission a written response to the investigator’s report. This time period may be shortened with the consent of the respondent, or without the consent of the respondent when the passage of time could reasonably be expected to render moot the ultimate disposition of the matter by the commission so long as reasonable notice under the circumstances is given.
(c) Counsel for the commission shall review the investigator’s report and shall make a written recommendation to the commission for the disposition of the complaint. If the counsel for the commission recommends that the commission find probable cause, the recommendation shall include a statement of what charges shall be at issue. A copy of the recommendation shall be furnished to the respondent. The respondent shall be given not less than 14 days from the date of mailing of the recommendation of counsel for the commission to file with the commission a written response to the recommendation. This time period may be shortened with the consent of the respondent, or without the consent of the respondent when the passage of time could reasonably be expected to render moot the ultimate disposition of the matter by the commission, so long as the recommendation is furnished to the respondent within a reasonable period of time under the circumstances.
(d) The respondent and each complainant, their counsel, and the counsel for the commission shall be permitted to attend the hearing at which the probable cause determination is made. Notice of the hearing shall be sent to the respondent, each complainant, and counsel for the commission at least 14 days before the hearing. This time period may be shortened with the consent of the respondent, or without the consent of the respondent when the passage of time could reasonably be expected to render moot the ultimate disposition of the matter by the commission, so long as the notice is furnished within a reasonable period of time under the circumstances.
(e) The probable cause determination is the conclusion of the preliminary investigation. The respondent and the counsel for the commission shall be permitted to make brief oral statements in the nature of oral argument to the commission, based on the investigator’s report, before the probable cause determination. The commission’s determination shall be based upon the investigator’s report, the recommendation of counsel for the commission, the complaint, and staff recommendations, as well as any written statements submitted by the respondent and any oral statements made at the hearing. No testimony or other evidence will be accepted at the hearing.
(f) At its meeting to determine probable cause, the commission may continue its determination to allow further investigation; may order the issuance of a public report of its investigation if it finds no probable cause to believe that there has been a violation of this chapter or chapter 104, concluding the matter before it; may order a final, public hearing of the complaint if it finds probable cause to believe that there has been a violation of this chapter or chapter 104; or may take such other action as it deems necessary to resolve the complaint, consistent with due process of law. In making its determination, the commission may consider:
1. The sufficiency of the evidence against the respondent, as contained in the investigator’s report;
2. The admissions and other stipulations of the respondent, if any;
3. The nature and circumstances of the respondent’s actions;
4. The expense of further proceedings; and
5. Such other factors as it deems material to its decision.

If the commission finds probable cause, the commission shall determine what charges shall be at issue.

(g) If no probable cause is found, the commission shall dismiss the case and the case shall become a matter of public record, except as otherwise provided in this section, together with a written statement of the findings of the preliminary investigation and a summary of the facts which the commission shall send to the complainant and the alleged violator. A finding of no probable cause by the commission is a full adjudication of all such matters. The commission may not charge a respondent in a subsequent complaint alleging violations based upon the same actions, nonactions, or circumstances wherein the commission found no probable cause.
(h) If probable cause is found, the commission shall so notify the complainant and the alleged violator in writing. All documents made or received in the disposition of the complaint shall become public records upon a finding by the commission.
(i)1. Upon a commission finding of probable cause, the counsel for the commission shall attempt to reach a consent agreement with the respondent. At any time, the commission may enter into a consent order with a respondent without requiring the respondent to admit to a violation of law within the jurisdiction of the commission.
2. A consent agreement is not binding upon either party unless and until it is signed by the respondent and by counsel for the commission upon approval by the commission.
3. Nothing herein shall be construed to prevent the commission from entering into a consent agreement with a respondent prior to a commission finding of probable cause if a respondent indicates in writing a desire to enter into negotiations directed towards reaching such a consent agreement. Any consent agreement reached under this subparagraph is subject to the provisions of subparagraph 2. and shall have the same force and effect as a consent agreement reached after the commission finding of probable cause.
(j) If a consent agreement is reached between the commission and the respondent, counsel for the commission shall send a copy of the signed agreement to both complainant and respondent.

In a case where probable cause is found, the commission shall make a preliminary determination to consider the matter or to refer the matter to the state attorney for the judicial circuit in which the alleged violation occurred. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section, the commission may, at its discretion, dismiss any complaint at any stage of disposition if it determines that the public interest would not be served by proceeding further, in which case the commission shall issue a public report stating with particularity its reasons for the dismissal.

(5) A person alleged by the Elections Commission to have committed a violation of this chapter or chapter 104 may elect, as a matter of right, within 30 days after the date of the filing of the commission’s allegations, to have a formal administrative hearing conducted by an administrative law judge in the Division of Administrative Hearings. The administrative law judge in such proceedings shall enter a final order, which may include the imposition of civil penalties, subject to appeal as provided in s. 120.68. If the person does not elect to have a hearing by an administrative law judge and does not elect to resolve the complaint by a consent order, the person is entitled to a formal or informal hearing conducted before the commission.
(6) It is the duty of a state attorney receiving a complaint referred by the commission to investigate the complaint promptly and thoroughly; to undertake such criminal or civil actions as are justified by law; and to report to the commission the results of such investigation, the action taken, and the disposition thereof. The failure or refusal of a state attorney to prosecute or to initiate action upon a complaint or a referral by the commission shall not bar further action by the commission under this chapter.
(7) Every sworn complaint filed pursuant to this chapter with the commission, every investigation and investigative report or other paper of the commission with respect to a violation of this chapter or chapter 104, and every proceeding of the commission with respect to a violation of this chapter or chapter 104 is confidential, is exempt from the provisions of ss. 119.07(1) and 286.011, and is exempt from publication in the Florida Administrative Register of any notice or agenda with respect to any proceeding relating to such violation, except under the following circumstances:
(a) As provided in subsection (6);
(b) Upon a determination of probable cause or no probable cause by the commission; or
(c) For proceedings conducted with respect to appeals of fines levied by filing officers for the late filing of reports required by this chapter.

However, a complainant is not bound by the confidentiality provisions of this section. In addition, confidentiality may be waived in writing by the person against whom the complaint has been filed or the investigation has been initiated. If a finding of probable cause in a case is entered within 30 days prior to the date of the election with respect to which the alleged violation occurred, such finding and the proceedings and records relating to such case shall not become public until noon of the day following such election. When two or more persons are being investigated by the commission with respect to an alleged violation of this chapter or chapter 104, the commission may not publicly enter a finding of probable cause or no probable cause in the case until a finding of probable cause or no probable cause for the entire case has been determined. However, once the confidentiality of any case has been breached, the person or persons under investigation have the right to waive the confidentiality of the case, thereby opening up the proceedings and records to the public. Any person who discloses any information or matter made confidential by the provisions of this subsection commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(8) Any person who files a complaint pursuant to this section while knowing that the allegations contained in such complaint are false or without merit commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(9) The commission shall maintain a database of all final orders and agency actions. Such database shall be available to the public and shall be maintained in such a manner as to be searchable, at a minimum, by issue, statutes, individuals, or entities referenced.
History.s. 25, ch. 73-128; s. 11, ch. 74-200; s. 60, ch. 77-175; s. 3, ch. 78-403; s. 1, ch. 82-46; s. 2, ch. 83-265; s. 39, ch. 84-302; s. 20, ch. 89-256; ss. 5, 14, 15, ch. 90-338; s. 21, ch. 90-360; s. 18, ch. 91-107; s. 5, ch. 91-429; s. 26, ch. 96-406; s. 49, ch. 97-13; s. 34, ch. 98-129; s. 21, ch. 2004-252; s. 48, ch. 2007-30; s. 16, ch. 2010-167; s. 70, ch. 2011-40; s. 1, ch. 2013-14.
106.26 Powers of commission; rights and responsibilities of parties; findings by commission.
(1) The commission shall, pursuant to rules adopted and published in accordance with chapter 120, consider all sworn complaints filed with it and all matters reported to it by the Division of Elections. In order to carry out the responsibilities prescribed by this chapter, the commission is empowered to subpoena and bring before it, or its duly authorized representatives, any person in the state, or any person doing business in the state, or any person who has filed or is required to have filed any application, document, papers, or other information with an office or agency of this state or a political subdivision thereof and to require the production of any papers, books, or other records relevant to any investigation, including the records and accounts of any bank or trust company doing business in this state. Duly authorized representatives of the commission are empowered to administer all oaths and affirmations in the manner prescribed by law to witnesses who shall appear before them concerning any relevant matter. Should any witness fail to respond to the lawful subpoena of the commission or, having responded, fail to answer all lawful inquiries or to turn over evidence that has been subpoenaed, the commission may file a complaint in the circuit court where the witness resides setting up such failure on the part of the witness. On the filing of such complaint, the court shall take jurisdiction of the witness and the subject matter of said complaint and shall direct the witness to respond to all lawful questions and to produce all documentary evidence in the witness’s possession which is lawfully demanded. The failure of any witness to comply with such order of the court shall constitute a direct and criminal contempt of court, and the court shall punish said witness accordingly. However, the refusal by a witness to answer inquiries or turn over evidence on the basis that such testimony or material will tend to incriminate such witness shall not be deemed refusal to comply with the provisions of this chapter. The sheriffs in the several counties shall make such service and execute all process or orders when required by the commission. Sheriffs shall be paid for these services by the commission as provided for in s. 30.231. Any person who is served with a subpoena to attend a hearing of the commission also shall be served with a general statement informing him or her of the subject matter of the commission’s investigation or inquiry and a notice that he or she may be accompanied at the hearing by counsel of his or her own choosing.
(2) All witnesses summoned before the commission, other than on the request of the subject of a hearing, shall receive reimbursement for travel expenses and per diem at the rates provided in s. 112.061. However, the fact that such reimbursement is not tendered at the time the subpoena is served shall not excuse the witness from appearing as directed therein.
(3) Upon request of any person having business before the commission, and with the approval of a majority of the commission, the chair or, in the chair’s absence, the vice chair shall instruct all witnesses to leave the hearing room and retire to a designated place. The witness will be instructed by the chair or, in the chair’s absence, the vice chair not to discuss his or her testimony or the testimony of any other person with anyone until the hearing has been adjourned and the witness discharged by the chair. The witness shall be further instructed that should any person discuss or attempt to discuss the matter under investigation with him or her after receiving such instructions the witness shall bring such matter to the attention of the commission. No member of the commission or representative thereof may discuss any matter or matters pertinent to the subject matter under investigation with witnesses to be called before the commission from the time that these instructions are given until the hearing has been adjourned and the witness discharged by the chair.
(4) The commission, when interrogating witnesses as provided herein, shall cause a record to be made of all proceedings in which testimony or other evidence is demanded or adduced. This record shall include rulings of the chair, questions of the commission and its counsel, testimony or responses of witnesses, sworn written statements submitted to the commission, and all other pertinent matters. A witness at a hearing, upon his or her advance request and at his or her own expense, shall be furnished a certified transcript of all testimony taken at the hearing.
(5) Before or during a hearing, any person noticed to appear before the commission, or the person’s counsel, may file with the commission, for incorporation into the record of the hearing, sworn written statements relevant to the purpose, subject matter, and scope of the commission’s investigation or inquiry. Any such person shall, however, prior to filing such statement, consent to answer questions from the commission regarding the contents of the statement.
(6) Any person whose name is mentioned or who is otherwise identified during a hearing being conducted by the commission and who, in the opinion of the commission, may be adversely affected thereby may, upon his or her request or upon the request of any member of the commission, appear personally before the commission and testify on his or her own behalf or, with the commission’s consent, file a sworn written statement of facts or other documentary evidence for incorporation into the record of the hearing. Any such person shall, however, prior to filing such statement, consent to answer questions from the commission regarding the contents of the statement.
(7) Upon the consent of a majority of its members, the commission may permit any other person to appear and testify at a hearing or submit a sworn written statement of facts or other documentary evidence for incorporation into the record thereof. No request to appear, appearance, or submission shall limit in any way the commission’s power of subpoena. Any such person shall, however, prior to filing such statement, consent to answer questions from the commission regarding the contents of the statement.
(8) Any person who appears before the commission pursuant to this section shall have all the rights, privileges, and responsibilities of a witness appearing before a court of competent jurisdiction.
(9) If the commission fails in any material respect to comply with the requirements of this section, any person subject to subpoena or subpoena duces tecum who is injured by such failure shall be relieved of any requirement to attend the hearing for which the subpoena was issued or, if present, to testify or produce evidence therein; and such failure shall be a complete defense in any proceeding against such person for contempt or other punishment.
(10) Whoever willfully affirms or swears falsely in regard to any material matter or thing before the commission shall be guilty of a felony of the third degree and punished as provided by s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(11) At the conclusion of its hearings concerning an alleged violation, the commission shall immediately begin deliberations on the evidence presented at such hearings and shall proceed to determine by affirmative vote of a majority of the members present whether a violation of this chapter or chapter 104 has occurred. Such determination shall promptly be made public. The order shall contain a finding of violation or no violation, together with brief findings of pertinent facts, and the assessment of such civil penalties as are permitted by this chapter or no such assessment and shall bear the signature or facsimile signature of the chair or vice chair.
(12) The commission by rule may determine violations which constitute minor offenses that can be resolved without further investigation by means of a plea of nolo contendere and payment of a fine.
(13) The commission may not issue advisory opinions and must, in all its deliberations and decisions, adhere to statutory law and advisory opinions of the division.
History.s. 26, ch. 73-128; s. 12, ch. 74-200; s. 60, ch. 77-175; s. 4, ch. 78-403; s. 64, ch. 79-400; s. 1, ch. 82-46; s. 2, ch. 83-265; s. 21, ch. 89-256; ss. 6, 14, 15, ch. 90-338; s. 74, ch. 91-45; s. 5, ch. 91-429; s. 2, ch. 94-170; s. 1396, ch. 95-147; s. 50, ch. 97-13; s. 35, ch. 98-129; s. 71, ch. 2011-40.
106.265 Civil penalties.
(1) The commission or, in cases referred to the Division of Administrative Hearings pursuant to s. 106.25(5), the administrative law judge is authorized upon the finding of a violation of this chapter or chapter 104 to impose civil penalties in the form of fines not to exceed $1,000 per count, or, if applicable, to impose a civil penalty as provided in s. 104.271 or s. 106.19.
(2) In determining the amount of such civil penalties, the commission or administrative law judge shall consider, among other mitigating and aggravating circumstances:
(a) The gravity of the act or omission;
(b) Any previous history of similar acts or omissions;
(c) The appropriateness of such penalty to the financial resources of the person, political committee, affiliated party committee, electioneering communications organization, or political party; and
(d) Whether the person, political committee, affiliated party committee, electioneering communications organization, or political party has shown good faith in attempting to comply with the provisions of this chapter or chapter 104.
(3) If any person, political committee, affiliated party committee, electioneering communications organization, or political party fails or refuses to pay to the commission any civil penalties assessed pursuant to the provisions of this section, the commission shall be responsible for collecting the civil penalties resulting from such action.
(4) Any civil penalty collected pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be deposited into the General Revenue Fund.
(5) Any fine assessed pursuant to this chapter shall be deposited into the General Revenue Fund.
(6) In any case in which the commission determines that a person has filed a complaint against another person with a malicious intent to injure the reputation of the person complained against by filing the complaint with knowledge that the complaint contains one or more false allegations or with reckless disregard for whether the complaint contains false allegations of fact material to a violation of this chapter or chapter 104, the complainant shall be liable for costs and reasonable attorney’s fees incurred in the defense of the person complained against, including the costs and reasonable attorney’s fees incurred in proving entitlement to and the amount of costs and fees. If the complainant fails to pay such costs and fees voluntarily within 30 days following such finding by the commission, the commission shall forward such information to the Department of Legal Affairs, which shall bring a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction to recover the amount of such costs and fees awarded by the commission.
History.s. 61, ch. 77-175; s. 1, ch. 82-46; s. 2, ch. 83-265; s. 4, ch. 86-276; ss. 7, 14, 15, ch. 90-338; s. 5, ch. 91-429; s. 51, ch. 97-13; s. 36, ch. 98-129; s. 3, ch. 2000-355; s. 22, ch. 2004-252; ss. 24, 30, ch. 2011-6; s. 72, ch. 2011-40; HJR 7105, 2011 Regular Session; s. 24, ch. 2013-37.
106.27 Determinations by commission; legal disposition.
(1) Criminal proceedings for violations of this chapter or chapter 104 may be brought in the appropriate court of competent jurisdiction. Any such action brought under this chapter or chapter 104 shall be advanced on the docket of the court in which filed and put ahead of all other actions.
(2) Civil actions may be brought by the commission for relief, including permanent or temporary injunctions, restraining orders, or any other appropriate order for the imposition of civil penalties provided by this chapter. Such civil actions shall be brought by the commission in the appropriate court of competent jurisdiction, and the venue shall be in the county in which the alleged violation occurred or in which the alleged violator or violators are found, reside, or transact business. Upon a proper showing that such person, political committee, affiliated party committee, or political party has engaged, or is about to engage, in prohibited acts or practices, a permanent or temporary injunction, restraining order, or other order shall be granted without bond by such court, and the civil fines provided by this chapter may be imposed.
(3) Civil actions may be brought to enjoin temporarily the issuance of certificates of election to successful candidates who are alleged to have violated the provisions of this chapter or chapter 104. Such injunctions shall issue upon a showing of probable cause that such violation has occurred. Such actions shall be brought in the circuit court for the circuit in which is located the officer before whom the candidate qualified for office.
History.s. 27, ch. 73-128; s. 13, ch. 74-200; s. 62, ch. 77-175; s. 1, ch. 82-46; s. 2, ch. 83-265; ss. 8, 14, 15, ch. 90-338; s. 5, ch. 91-429; s. 37, ch. 98-129; ss. 25, 30, ch. 2011-6; HJR 7105, 2011 Regular Session; s. 25, ch. 2013-37.
106.28 Limitation of actions.Actions for violation of this chapter must be commenced before 2 years have elapsed from the date of the violation.
History.s. 28, ch. 73-128; s. 1, ch. 82-46; s. 2, ch. 83-265; s. 22, ch. 89-256; s. 14, ch. 90-338.
106.29 Reports by political parties and affiliated party committees; restrictions on contributions and expenditures; penalties.
(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.
106.295 Leadership fund.
(1) For purposes of this section:
(a) “Leadership fund” means accounts comprised of any moneys contributed to a political party, directly or indirectly, which are designated to be used at the partial or total discretion of a leader.
(b) “Leader” means the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the majority leader and the minority leader of each house, and any person designated by a political caucus of members of either house to succeed to any such position.
(2) Leadership funds are prohibited in this state. No leader shall accept any leadership funds.
(3) This section applies to leadership funds in existence on or after January 1, 1990.
History.s. 24, ch. 89-256.
106.30 Short title.Sections 106.30-106.36 may be cited as the “Florida Election Campaign Financing Act.”
History.s. 1, ch. 86-276.
106.31 Legislative intent.The Legislature finds that the costs of running an effective campaign for statewide office have reached a level which tends to discourage persons from becoming candidates and to limit the persons who run for such office to those who are independently wealthy, who are supported by political committees representing special interests which are able to generate substantial campaign contributions, or who must appeal to special interest groups for campaign contributions. The Legislature further finds that campaign contributions generated by such political committees are having a disproportionate impact vis-a-vis contributions from unaffiliated individuals, which leads to the misperception of government officials unduly influenced by those special interests to the detriment of the public interest. Furthermore, it is the intent of the Legislature that the purpose of public campaign financing is to make candidates more responsive to the voters of the State of Florida and as insulated as possible from special interest groups. The Legislature intends ss. 106.30-106.36 to alleviate these factors, dispel the misperception, and encourage qualified persons to seek statewide elective office who would not, or could not otherwise do so and to protect the effective competition by a candidate who uses public funding.
History.s. 1, ch. 86-276; s. 67, ch. 2001-40.
106.32 1Election Campaign Financing Trust Fund.
(1) There is hereby established in the State Treasury an 1Election Campaign Financing Trust Fund to be utilized by the Department of State as provided in ss. 106.30-106.36. If necessary, each year in which a general election is to be held for the election of the Governor and Cabinet, additional funds shall be transferred to the 1Election Campaign Financing Trust Fund from general revenue in an amount sufficient to fund qualifying candidates pursuant to the provisions of ss. 106.30-106.36.
(2) Proceeds from filing fees pursuant to ss. 99.092, 99.093, and 105.031 shall be deposited into the 1Election Campaign Financing Trust Fund as designated in those sections.
(3) Proceeds from assessments pursuant to ss. 106.07 and 106.29 shall be deposited into the 1Election Campaign Financing Trust Fund as designated in those sections.
History.s. 1, ch. 86-276; s. 19, ch. 91-107; s. 26, ch. 2013-37.
1Note.The trust fund expired, effective November 4, 1996, by operation of s. 19(f), Art. III of the State Constitution.
106.33 Election campaign financing; eligibility.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:
(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.
1Note.The trust fund expired, effective November 4, 1996, by operation of s. 19(f), Art. III of the State Constitution.
106.34 Expenditure limits.
(1) Any candidate for Governor and Lieutenant Governor or Cabinet officer who requests contributions from the 1Election Campaign Financing Trust Fund shall limit his or her total expenditures as follows:
(a) Governor and Lieutenant Governor: $2.00 for each Florida-registered voter.
(b) Cabinet officer: $1.00 for each Florida-registered voter.
(2) The expenditure limit for any candidate with primary election opposition only shall be 60 percent of the limit provided in subsection (1).
(3) For purposes of this section, “Florida-registered voter” means a voter who is registered to vote in Florida as of June 30 of each odd-numbered year. The Division of Elections shall certify the total number of Florida-registered voters no later than July 31 of each odd-numbered year. Such total number shall be calculated by adding the number of registered voters in each county as of June 30 in the year of the certification date. For the 2006 general election, the Division of Elections shall certify the total number of Florida-registered voters by July 31, 2005.
(4) For the purposes of this section, the term “expenditure” does not include the payment of compensation for legal and accounting services rendered on behalf of a candidate.
History.s. 1, ch. 86-276; s. 41, ch. 90-315; s. 21, ch. 91-107; s. 654, ch. 95-147; s. 48, ch. 2005-278.
1Note.The trust fund expired, effective November 4, 1996, by operation of s. 19(f), Art. III of the State Constitution.
106.35 Distribution of funds.
(1) The division shall review each request for contributions from the 1Election Campaign Financing Trust Fund and certify whether the candidate is eligible for such contributions. Notice of the certification decision shall be provided to the candidate. An adverse decision may be appealed to the Florida Elections Commission. The division shall adopt rules providing a procedure for such appeals.
(2)(a) Each candidate who has been certified to receive contributions from the 1Election Campaign Financing Trust Fund shall be entitled to distribution of funds as follows:
1. For qualifying matching contributions making up all or any portion of the threshold amounts specified in s. 106.33(2), distribution shall be on a two-to-one basis.
2. For all other qualifying matching contributions, distribution shall be on a one-to-one basis.
(b) Qualifying matching contributions are those of $250 or less from an individual, made after September 1 of the calendar year prior to the election. Any contribution received from an individual who is not a state resident at the time the contribution is made shall not be considered a qualifying matching contribution. For purposes of this paragraph, any person validly registered to vote in this state shall be considered a state resident. Aggregate contributions from an individual in excess of $250 will be matched only up to $250. A contribution from an individual, if made by check, must be drawn on the personal bank account of the individual making the contribution, as opposed to any form of business account, regardless of whether the business account is for a corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship, trust, or other form of business arrangement. For contributions made by check from a personal joint account, the match shall only be for the individual who actually signs the check.
(3)(a) Certification and distribution of funds shall be based on contributions to the candidate reported to the division for such purpose. The division shall review each report and verify the amount of funds to be distributed prior to authorizing the release of funds. The division may prescribe separate reporting forms for candidates for Governor and Cabinet officer.
(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 106.11, a candidate who is eligible for a distribution of funds based upon qualifying matching contributions received and certified to the division on the report due on the 4th day prior to the election, may obligate funds not to exceed the amount which the campaign treasurer’s report shows the candidate is eligible to receive from the 1Election Campaign Financing Trust Fund without the funds actually being on deposit in the campaign account.
(4) Distribution of funds shall be made beginning on the 32nd day prior to the primary and every 7 days thereafter.
(5) The division shall adopt rules providing for the weekly reports and certification and distribution of funds pursuant thereto required by this section. Such rules shall, at a minimum, provide specifications for electronically transmitted campaign treasurer’s reports outlining communication parameters and protocol, data record formats, and provisions for ensuring security of data and transmission.
History.s. 1, ch. 86-276; s. 25, ch. 89-256; s. 42, ch. 90-315; s. 22, ch. 91-107; s. 69, ch. 2001-40; s. 49, ch. 2007-30; s. 74, ch. 2011-40.
1Note.The trust fund expired, effective November 4, 1996, by operation of s. 19(f), Art. III of the State Constitution.
106.353 Candidates voluntarily abiding by election campaign financing limits but not requesting public funds; irrevocable statement required; penalty.
(1) Not later than qualifying for office, each candidate for the office of Governor or member of the Cabinet who has not made a request to receive contributions from the 1Election Campaign Financing Trust Fund, but who wishes to voluntarily abide by the applicable expenditure limit set forth in s. 106.34 and the contribution limits on personal and party funds set forth in s. 106.33, shall file an irrevocable statement to that effect with the Secretary of State.
(2) Any candidate who files such a statement and subsequently exceeds such limits shall pay to the 1Election Campaign Financing Trust Fund an amount equal to the amount of the excess contributions or expenditures. Such penalty shall not be an allowable campaign expense and shall be paid from personal funds of the candidate. However, if a nonparticipating candidate exceeds the expenditure limit as described in s. 106.355, a candidate signing the statement pursuant to this section may exceed the applicable expenditure limit to the extent the nonparticipating candidate exceeded the limit without being subject to a penalty.
History.s. 23, ch. 91-107.
1Note.The trust fund expired, effective November 4, 1996, by operation of s. 19(f), Art. III of the State Constitution.
106.355 Nonparticipating candidate exceeding limits.Whenever a candidate for the office of Governor or member of the Cabinet who has elected not to participate in election campaign financing under the provisions of ss. 106.30-106.36 exceeds the applicable expenditure limit provided in s. 106.34, all opposing candidates participating in such election campaign financing are, notwithstanding the provisions of s. 106.33 or any other provision requiring adherence to such limit, released from such expenditure limit to the extent the nonparticipating candidate exceeded the limit, are still eligible for matching contributions up to such limit, and shall not be required to reimburse any matching funds provided pursuant thereto. In addition, the Department of State shall, within 7 days after a request by a participating candidate, provide such candidate with funds from the 1Election Campaign Financing Trust Fund equal to the amount by which the nonparticipating candidate exceeded the expenditure limit, not to exceed twice the amount of the maximum expenditure limits specified in s. 106.34(1)(a) and (b), which funds shall not be considered matching funds.
History.s. 24, ch. 91-107.
1Note.The trust fund expired, effective November 4, 1996, by operation of s. 19(f), Art. III of the State Constitution.
106.36 Penalties; fines.In addition to any other penalties which may be applicable under the election code, any candidate who receives contributions from the 1Election Campaign Financing Trust Fund and who exceeds the applicable expenditure limit, except as authorized in ss. 106.353 and 106.355, or falsely reports qualifying matching contributions and thereby receives contributions from the 1Election Campaign Financing Trust Fund to which the candidate was not entitled shall be fined an amount equal to three times the amount at issue, which shall be deposited in the 1Election Campaign Financing Trust Fund.
History.s. 1, ch. 86-276; s. 11, ch. 90-338; s. 25, ch. 91-107; s. 655, ch. 95-147.
1Note.The trust fund expired, effective November 4, 1996, by operation of s. 19(f), Art. III of the State Constitution.