The 2013 Legislature passed CS/CS/CS HB 569 (Chapter 2013-37, Laws of Florida), a campaign finance reform package backed by legislative leadership aimed at curbing abuses in how monies are collected and distributed to political campaigns. Among other things, the bill establishes a process to eliminate committees of continuous existence (“CCEs), commonly referred to as state PACs. There are approximately 670 CCEs, affiliated with groups, associations, and corporations, involved in making campaign contributions to candidates running for state and local office. The bill establishes a process to eliminate CCEs. As of August 1, 2013, CCEs are not permitted to accept monies for distribution as contributions, and on September 30, 2013, all CCE certifications will be revoked as a matter of law. Before revocation, a CCE must disburse all funds as currently authorized by law and file the required campaign finance reports with the Secretary of State’s Division of Elections showing a zero balance in its account. In order to continue to participate in the political process, many of the groups, associations, and corporations with affiliated CCEs are considering converting their CCEs to political committees, a similar entity through which they can continue to collect and disburse funds in the form of campaign contributions.
For more information about the new campaign finance law and converting CCEs to political committees, please contact Diane Carr.