According to a notice filed in Osceola County, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is taking early steps to replace the Disney-run Reedy Creek Improvement District with a state-run board to operate the District. The notice was posted to the Osceola County website today:
Notice is hereby given of intent to seek legislation before the Florida Legislature, during a regular, extended, or special session, of an act relating to the Reedy Creek Improvement District, Orange and Osceola Counties; amending, reenacting, and repealing Chapter 67-764, Laws of Florida, and decree in chancery no. 66-1061 (May 13, 1966); removing and revising powers of the District; increasing state oversight, accountability, and transparency of the District; revising the selection process, membership qualifications, and compensation for the governing body of the District; ensuring debts and bond obligations held by the District remain with the District and are not transferred to other governments by retaining the District’s authority related to indebtedness and taxation; revising the District’s authority over local permitting and regulation; revising the District’s regulatory framework and structure; instituting reporting requirements, including a review of the District’s remaining powers; describing the District boundaries and name; revising exceptions to general law and certain special acts; removing duplicative provisions; making conforming changes; creating an exception to general law; providing an effective date.
A report from flvoicenews quotes DeSantis Communications Director Taryn Fenske as saying “The corporate kingdom has come to an end. Under the proposed legislation, Disney will no longer control its own government, will live under the same laws as everyone else, will be responsible for their outstanding debts, and will pay their fair share of taxes”
The road to dismantling the Reedy Creek Improvement District is a winding one, but one that started essentially out of retaliation by DeSantis after he and Disney butted heads over the “Don’t Say Gay” law earlier this year. Here’s a timeline of the fallout:
- March 7th – Disney CEO Bob Chapek sends out a company-wide email that says that Disney will not denounce the “Don’t Say Gay” bill and that the company will essentially try to stay out of politics.
- March 9th – Disney CEO Bob Chapek attempts to walk back his email, saying that the company has been “opposed to the bill from the outset”.
- March 10th – The Human Rights Organization rejects Disney’s donation
- March 11th – Disney CEO Bob Chapek sends a company-wide email apologizing for lack of action and advocacy on “Don’t Say Gay” bill
- March 22nd – Hundreds of Disney employees participate in a walkout at Disney Headquarters over the company’s initial apathy over “Don’t Say Gay” bill
- March 28th – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signs “Don’t Say Gay” into law, Disney responds
- March 30th – Florida lawmakers begin floating the idea of dismantling the Reedy Creek Improvement District in retaliation for Disney’s support of LGBTQIA+ communities
- April 20th – Florida Senate passes bill to dismantle the Reedy Creek Improvement District
- April 22nd – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signs bill to dismantle Reedy Creek Improvement District
- May 2nd – DeSantis is said to want to create his own “Lake Buena Vista District” in place of the Reedy Creek Improvement District
- May 16th – DeSantis says that he’ll make Disney pay an outstanding RCID debt of $1 billion despite no laws requiring Disney to do so
- August 23rd – In a motion to dismiss a lawsuit against the state, DeSantis’ lawyers argue the RCID dissolution might not happen
As always, keep checking back with us here at BlogMickey.com as we continue to bring you the latest news, photos, and info from around the Disney Parks!