News & Insights  |  Newsletters

Florida Lightens Burdens for Federal PACs Contributing in State Elections

July 2014

In June, the Florida Division of Elections changed its interpretation of state election law, now allowing federal political action committees (PACs) to make contributions in Florida elections without themselves registering and reporting as state political committees.  Until now, federal committees making annual contributions of $500 or more to state candidates were required to register and report under Florida law.

Under the new system, making a Florida contribution does not trigger political-committee status for federal PACs that do not themselves accept Florida-specific contributions.  As highlighted in a memo issued in June by the Division of Elections, “‘[c]ontributions are defined as only those made for the purpose of influencing the results of a Florida Election.”  Thus, “[a]n out-of-state political entity that has only received donations that were not made for the purpose of influencing the results of Florida elections has not received contributions under Florida law; therefore, it can make contributions to a Florida political committee without having to register as a Florida political committee.”