April 25, 2013 •
Florida Legislature Passes Campaign Finance Bill
The Florida House and Senate reached a compromise on contribution limits, passing a comprehensive campaign finance bill.
The major changes in the bill include:
- Elimination of committees of continuous existence;
- Requiring weekly reporting by political committees and electioneering communications organizations beginning with the 60th day prior to a primary election and continuing until the 4th day before a general election, and daily reporting beginning with the 10th day before a general election;
- Increasing campaign contribution limits from $500 to $3,000 for a candidate for statewide office or retention as a justice of the state supreme court, and from $500 to $1,000 for a candidate for legislative office, retention as a judge of a district court of appeal, or circuit judge; and
- Elimination of limits on contributions to political committees.
The original bill increased all contribution limits from $500 to $10,000. At the beginning of debate on the bill, House Speaker Will Weatherford tweeted, “today is meet me halfway day.”
While critics argue the bill doesn’t go far enough and too many loopholes remain, Senator Jack Latvala, chairman of the Senate Ethics and Elections Committee, said the goal is transparency. He contends money in politics isn’t going anywhere, so the best the legislature can do is require disclosure.
The bill now awaits action by Governor Rick Scott.
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