About Campaign Finance Reporting
By Florida law, campaigns and committees are required to disclose detailed financial records of campaign contributions and expenditures.
Who must file reports?
Both candidates and committees must file campaign finance reports.
- A "candidate" is any person who seeks to be elected to or retained in public office.
- A "committee" is generally a combination of two or more individuals or an organization who:
- Contributes more than $500 in the aggregate in a calendar year to any candidate or political party, or which accepts contributions during a calendar year in an aggregate amount in excess of $500; or
- Expressly advocates the election or defeat of a candidate or issue and makes expenditures of more than $500 in the aggregate during a calendar year; or
- The sponsor of a proposed constitutional amendment by initiative who intends to seek the signatures of registered electors.
What must be disclosed?Back
Candidates and committees must report all contributions, loans, expenditures, distributions, and transfers, regardless of the amount. They must report the full name and address of each person making the contribution or receiving the expenditure and, for contributions over $100, the occupation.
Are there any limits?Back
Except for political parties or affiliated party committees, no person or political committee may make contributions in excess of: (1) $3,000 to a candidate for statewide office or for retention as a justice of the Supreme Court. Candidates for the offices of Governor and Lieutenant Governor on the same ticket are considered a single candidate for the purpose of this section; and (2) $1,000 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 county-wide office or in any election conducted on less than a countywide basis; or a candidate for county court judge or circuit judge. The primary and general elections are separate elections. (Section 106.08(1) F.S.) A "person" is 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. (Section 106.011(14) F.S.) Loans are considered contributions; however, loans made by candidates to their own campaigns are not subject to contribution limitations. In-kind contributions are subject to the same contribution limitations as money. An in-kind contribution is anything of value except money made for the purpose of influencing the results of an election.
The laws governing campaign finance reporting and campaign financing limitations are complex. For more detail, please refer to Chapter 106, Florida Statutes, and the candidate and committee handbooks.