TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, the House State Affairs committee heard PCB SAC 24-03, a House resolution that seeks to remove public campaign financing from the Florida Constitution.
This would make it harder for a more diverse group of candidates to run for public office, leave candidates more beholden to wealthy special interests, and limit the voice of small-dollar donors and ordinary voters. If passed, this resolution will put a measure on the November ballot to repeal Section 7 of Article VI of the Florida Constitution, which requires the availability of public financing for campaigns for elective statewide offices. According to Florida statute 106.31, “the purpose of public campaign financing is to make candidates more responsive to the voters of the State of Florida and as insulated as possible from special interest groups.”
After today’s hearing, the resolution will move forward to its next committee stop.
In response to today’s hearing, Amy Keith, Executive Director of Common Cause Florida shared the following:
“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.
“Changing the Constitution is unnecessary for reform here. Article VI, Section 7 of the Florida Constitution is broadly worded. The functioning of the public campaign financing system in Florida is defined in and governed by statute, which means that this legislature has the power to improve the current system through statute to better serve the purpose the people of Florida voted for when they put it in the constitution.
“This resolution goes against the will of Florida voters, who have already affirmed their support for the Public Campaign Financing System on two separate occasions, in 1998 and 2010.
“Legislators shouldn’t make voters return to the ballot box for a third time on this. Instead, it’s time to look to new legislation to improve Florida’s existing public campaign financing system.”