Florida legislature sends constitutional amendment to repeal public campaign financing to Nov. 2024 ballot

The Florida State Legislature referred a constitutional amendment to the Nov. ballot that would repeal Section 7 of Article VI of the Florida Constitution, which provides for public campaign financing for candidates who agree to spending limits.

The amendment was sponsored by state Sen. Travis Hutson (R-7).

Florida enacted a public campaign financing law in 1986. Candidates for governor, attorney general, chief financial officer, and commissioner of agriculture can receive public campaign financing.

To qualify for public campaign financing, a candidate must:

*not be running unopposed;

*agree to expenditure limits;

*raise $150,000 (for gubernatorial candidates) or $100,000 (for cabinet candidates);

*limit loans or contributions from the candidate’s personal funds to $25,000 and limit contributions from political parties to $250,000; and

*report campaign financing data to the division of elections and submit to a post-election financial audit.

In 2022, the expenditure limit for gubernatorial candidates receiving public campaign financing was $30.29 million ($2.00 per registered voter) and the limit for cabinet candidates was $15.14 million ($1.00 per registered voter).

Common Cause Florida opposes the amendment. Amy Keith, Executive Director of Common Cause Florida said, “Make no mistake: Floridians know that wealthy special interests and big campaign donors have too much power in politics. Seeking to repeal laws that address this issue would be a step backward.”

In 2010, Florida voters considered a constitutional amendment that would have repealed public campaign financing. It received 52.49% of the vote in favor but was defeated because it failed to reach the required 60% supermajority vote threshold.

The legislature referred three constitutional amendments to the 2024 ballot so far. Amendment 1 would change school board elections from nonpartisan to partisan elections beginning in 2026. Amendment 2 would create a state constitutional right to hunt and fish. Another amendment would adjust the homestead property tax exemption amount based on inflation.

Voters in Florida will also decide on two citizen-initiated ballot measures in November—Amendment 3 and Amendment 4—pending the state supreme court’s review. Amendment 3 would legalize marijuana, and Amendment 4 would provide a state constitutional right for abortion.

Additional reading: