Becoming a Committee
Florida statute defines two types of committees: Political Committee and Committee of Continuous Existence. Persons or organizations involved in political activity must first determine which type of committee they wish to register as.
Pursuant to Florida Statute 106.011(1)(a) a Political Committee is:
- 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 that:
- accepts contributions for the purpose of making contributions to any candidate, political committee, committee of continuous existence, or political party;
- accepts contributions for the purpose of expressly advocating the election or defeat of a candidate or the passage or defeat of an issue;
- makes expenditures that expressly advocate the election or defeat of a candidate or the passage or defeat of an issue; or
- makes contributions to a common fund, other than a joint checking account between spouses, from which contributions are made to any candidate, political committee, committee of continuous existence, or political party.
- The sponsor of a proposed constitutional amendment by initiative who intends to seek the signatures of registered electors.
A political committee is not an organization whose activities are limited to making expenditures for electioneering communications or accepting contributions for the purpose of making electioneering communications. However, the organization is required to register and report contributions, including those received from committees of continuous existence, and expenditures in the same manner, at the same time, subject to the same penalties, and with the same filing officer as a political committee supporting or opposing a candidate or issue contained in the electioneering communication. If the organization would be required to register and report with more than one filing officer, the organization shall register and report solely with the Division of Elections.
COMMITTEE OF CONTINUOUS EXISTENCE
Pursuant to Florida Statute 106.011(2) a Committee of Continuous Existence is a group, organization, association, or other such entity which is certified pursuant to the provisions of Section 106.04, F.S.
In order to qualify as a committee of continuous existence, a group, organization, association, or other entity which is involved in making contributions to candidates, political committees, or political parties, shall meet the following criteria:
- It shall be organized and operated in accordance with a written charter or set of bylaws which contains procedures for the election of officers and directors and which clearly defines membership in the organization; and
- At least 25% of the income of such organization, excluding interest, must be derived from dues or assessments payable on a regular basis by its membership pursuant to provisions contained in the charter or bylaws.