DeSantis’ bid to nullify Disney-Reedy Creek deal added to Florida bill. Here’s what it says

Measure set to go before committee

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, right, speaks at a news conference as Wilton Simpson, Commissioner of Agriculture listens, at the Reedy Creek Administration Building Monday, April 17, 2023, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. DeSantis and Florida lawmakers ratcheted up pressure on Walt Disney World on Monday by announcing legislation that will use the regulatory powers of Florida government to exert unprecedented oversight on the park resort's rides and monorail. (AP Photo/John Raoux) (John Raoux, Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

ORLANDO, Fla. – A plan to get rid of an agreement the Walt Disney Company made with the former governing body that oversaw Disney World property is now in the Florida Senate, tacked onto an existing bill and already set to go before committee on Wednesday.

The measure that Gov. Ron DeSantis wants, which would empower his handpicked Central Florida Tourism Oversight District to nullify the deal Disney made with the former Reedy Creek Improvement District, was added as an amendment to an already existing bill, SB 1604, on land use and development regulations.

State Sen. Blaise Ingoglia, R-Spring Hill, who appeared Monday with DeSantis at a news conference in Lake Buena Vista, submitted the amendment.


Florida Republicans in the legislature dissolved the Reedy Creek Improvement District and its Disney-friendly board after the company criticized the Parental Rights in Education law, known to critics as the Don’t Say Gay law.

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In a special session, the Legislature passed a plan to remark the RCID into the Central Florida Tourism Development District, with a board picked by the governor.

However, the new board soon learned that RCID and Disney, in the waning months before the changeover, entered into an agreement that essentially stripped the board of much of its power and gave it to Disney. The agreement was meant to last decades.

The new measure by the Florida Legislature is essentially tailor-made to allow the new board to sidestep the agreement. It would preclude any independent special district with a newly remade governing body from following a development agreement that was made three months before the law that changed the way the district’s governing body was chosen. You can read the measure HERE.

Then the measure allows the board to review the agreement and decide whether to readopt it. This must be done within four months of taking control of the district.

SB 1604 is due to go before the Florida Senate Rules Committee on Wednesday morning, the last stop before going before the full Florida Senate.

A House version of the bill does not appear to have been modified yet.

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Christie joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021.