New guidance from the Florida Bureau of Election Records will be useful to federal PACs and other non-Florida political entities that want to participate in Florida politics but were wary of the state’s registration and reporting requirements. Under the new guidance, available on page 34 of the Florida Political Committee Handbook:
- Out-of-state and federal entities that have “only received donations that were not made for the purpose of influencing the results of Florida elections” and are otherwise legally permitted to make contributions may make Florida contributions without registering with the state. In other words, if an entity only receives general donations and wants to make Florida contributions, it does not need to register. Note that other political activity in Florida, such as making expenditures for express advocacy, may require registration.
- A political committee that is registered in Florida must “maintain a separate bank account solely for Florida political activities” and deposit all of its receipts for Florida activities into that account. These funds must be spent only on Florida activity.
- If a federal or other non-Florida entity has to register in Florida, it may not commingle funds from its Florida account with its other funds.
We advise that any entity considering taking advantage of this new guidance consult with counsel before doing so.