Florida Lawmakers Call Reedy Creek Special Session to Discuss State Takeover

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Florida lawmakers will convene on Monday for a special session to determine whether the fate of Disney World’s Reedy Creek Improvement District.

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On Friday, the Florida legislature announced that a special session will be called to convene on Monday, February 6, to discuss whether the State of Florida will take over Disney World’s Reedy Creek Improvement District. The announcement comes as Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis and Disney have been at odds. DeSantis has been quoted as saying that Disney is a “woke corporation” because of the company’s opposition to the Florida Parental Rights in Education bill, which was signed into law by DeSantis in March 2022.

The law prohibits educators from teaching about sexual lifestyles and preferences in classrooms of children in Kindergarten through third grade. Shortly after it was passed, Disney issued a public statement, denoucning the piece of legislation, as the company vowed to stand with those who seek to see the bill overturned.

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In April, Gov. DeSantis signed another bill into law–this time, a bill that called for the dissolution of Disney World’s special tax district, known as the Reedy Creek Improvement District, as well as a handful of other special districts in the Sunshine State. The law goes into effect this summer, though verbiage in the bill gives the State of Florida until June 1, 2023, to replace or revise it. In response, Disney suspended all political contributions in the state.

As of Friday, the new bill has yet to be filed. Gov. DeSantis, however, has said that it’s his goal for the State of Florida to be put into a place of control over the Reedy Creek District so that taxpayers are safe from incurring debt that belongs to the district itself.

According to some Orlando Democrats, different things are being said about what the new bill could mean for Floridians.

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Rep. Anna Eskamani says she things Disney has come to an agreement with lawmakers that will leave the state with control over the Reedy Creek District but leave other benefits in place for Disney, such as corporate tax loopholes. Eskamani says if such a deal was made, it’s possible that it would allow Disney to restart its political contributions before Florida’s regular session begins in March.

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!