Florida special session set for next week to handle Disney’s Reedy Creek, immigration, more

Special session will take place a month before the regular annual session

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida’s lawmakers will go to Tallahassee next week for a special session to handle a number of issues, including reforming Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement District.

Florida House Speaker Paul Renner sent a memorandum regarding the session to lawmakers on Friday.

Among the issues on the agenda, according to the memo, is a bill to revise the Reedy Creek Improvement District, the special taxing district that governs Walt Disney World property.

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The bill stems from the feud last year in which Gov. Ron DeSantis and Republicans in the Florida Legislature passed a law to dissolve Reedy Creek in retribution for Disney’s criticism of the Parental Rights in Education law, also known by critics as “Don’t Say Gay.”

Last month a special notice was sent to Osceola County regarding plans to reform Reedy Creek by changing its powers and how it’s governed. It’s believed the state will allow DeSantis to appoint members to the Reedy Creek board.

State Rep. Fred Hawkins, R-Osceola County, will sponsor the bill, according to the memo.

Other issues to be dealt with during the special session:

  • A bill to provide additional relief to communities that were impacted by hurricanes Ian and Nicole
  • A bill to clarify the Office of Election Crimes and Security’s jurisdiction to prosecute crimes involving federal or state elections
  • A bill to deal with the impact of continuing arrivals of migrants to the Florida Keys. DeSantis has already activated the National Guard
  • A bill to revise current laws on how college athletes can be compensated for use of their names, images and likenesses

The special session starts Feb. 6, a full month before the start of the regular special session on March 7.

Many lawmakers were already going to be in Tallahassee for committee meetings next week.

[Read the full memorandum]

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Christie joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021.