On Tuesday morning, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that this week’s special session of the legislature will not only be considering congressional redistricting.
“They also will be considering termination of all special districts that were enacted in Florida prior to 1968 and that includes the Reedy Creek Improvement District,” DeSantis said. The Reedy Creek Improvement District is where Walt Disney World Resort. It governs the land where it lives and basically allows the landowner, in this case, Disney to regulate water, power, and emergency services.
Following the announcement, which was made at The Villages, DeSantis issued a proclamation that expanded the special session to include the consideration of terminating all special districts that were enacted in Florida before 1968.
Shortly after, Republican State Rep. Randy Fine from Brevard County filed the legislation and also tweeted: “Disney is a guest in Florida. Today, we remind them.”
Republican House Speaker Chris Sprowls also spoke out against Disney on Tuesday saying, “I don’t think there’s another special taxing district in the state that I’m aware of that has the ability to construct their own nuclear power plant. I think that’s something that unique to Disney.”
On the other side of the aisle, Democrat State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith from Orlando called out the Republicans for being disingenuous. “They are applying this bill only to affect Reedy Creek and not The Villages. This is political retribution. They are punishing Disney for speaking out against them on ‘Don’t Say Gay,'” he said.
The move by Governor DeSantis comes after Disney came out against legislation called the “Parental Rights in Education” or “Don’t Say Gay” law, depending on who is asked. This has led to accusations of Disney being called “woke” by those who oppose its stance on the issue.
The implications of this special session could not only impact Disney and the Reedy Creek Improvement District, but also other districts in Florida. This could have huge ramifications for Disney, the local economy, and other districts and communities in Florida.