Proposal threatening campaign funding passes state Senate

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Senator Travis Hutson / Credit: The Florida Channel

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Florida voters may soon be able to decide whether to stop public financing for campaigns for statewide offices. A ballot question that passed in the Senate Wednesday could hurt candidates who don’t have much funding.

SJR 1114 would put to voters the question of whether to repeal a section of the state constitution. The section allows public financing to go to candidates who agree to certain campaign guidelines. Republican Senator Travis Hutson sponsored the amendment.

“This is being funded out of our general revenue dollars, and I’d like to put it to the voters of Florida to see if they’d like to repeal that to find a better use for our taxpayer dollars.”

Democratic Senator Tracie Davis questioned Hutson about the timing of the bill.

Davis: We are now months away from a presidential election in ’24, ’26 is around the corner, so is there a significance of the timeline that we’re asking for removal of public financing in this legislation?

Hutson: No, there is no significance in the timeframe. This is something that was discussed in election packages that did not get in election packages previously in the past couple of years.”

Democratic Senator Tina Polsky voted against the bill. She said during a previous committee meeting that it targets Democrats.

“It is very clear that the Republican Party has a lot more money, funding, outside groups, special interest groups, who help pay for campaigns than the Democratic Party has in Florida. And, as a result, it seems this would be a negative for Democratic candidates.”

The bill passed in the Senate 28 to 11 on Wednesday.

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