Gov. DeSantis says redistricting Special Session will also target Disney’s special privileges

DeSantis Versus Disney
It's a last-minute change to this week's Special Session.

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday announced plans to expand the call of the Special Session starting in the Legislature the same day.

The Governor, in The Villages for a bill signing, said in addition to handling a final congressional reapportionment, the Legislature would also take a look at repealing special districts implemented before 1968.

This would include the Reedy Creek Improvement District, which is the foundation for the Walt Disney Company’s quasi-governmental structure.

“I am announcing today that we are expanding the call of what they are going to be considering this week. And so yes, they will be considering the congressional map, but they also will be considering termination of all special districts that were enacted in Florida prior to 1968,” DeSantis said.

“And that includes the Reedy Creek Improvement District,” DeSantis said to cheers, thanking Senate President Wilton Simpson and House Speaker Chris Sprowls for “stepping up and making sure we make the sunset or the termination of these special districts happen.”

Sen. Jennifer Bradley and Rep. Randy Fine will file the legislation Tuesday.

The main special district focus, of course, is Disney’s, a prerogative suddenly in danger after the company opposed Parental Rights in Education legislation this year.

The 1967 Reedy Creek Improvement Act created the Reedy Creek Improvement District (RCID), establishing local government-like operations in Bay Creek and Reedy Creek. The district effectively taxes the land and operates government services with that revenue, allowing for self-government.

The RCID operates its own fire protection, security services, utilities and planning. Its Board of Supervisors is selected by landowners, effectively meaning the Disney corporation installs the government regulating the 38.5-square-mile property.

In the wake of legislators revealing conversations about repealing the law, DeSantis signaled support earlier this month.

“We’re certainly not going to bend a knee to woke executives in California. That is not the way the state’s going to be run,” DeSantis said. “So I would say, reevaluate any special privileges in the law.”

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


13 comments

  • Beth

    April 19, 2022 at 2:18 pm

    DeSantis is exactly like trump. He destroys everything he touches. He has done only damage and not one positive thing for FL. Now little Ronnie is fighting with Disney because they don’t support his disgusting bigoted racist policies. He is a vile excuse for a human and a total embarrassment to FL. Can’t wait for him to be voted out.

  • Casimira

    April 19, 2022 at 2:50 pm

    Thank you Gov D for standing up to these fascist woke companies that think they can bully policy makers and subvert out legislative process. Gov DeSantis has consistently and intelligently defended the rights of businesses and families during the pandemic hysteria and used sound judgement- the proof is in the pudding- Florida is a beacon of success and a National juggernaut. Proud to be fighting for our freedom and prosperity with you! God bless DeSantis and our beautiful Florida!

    • slb

      April 19, 2022 at 4:56 pm

      Yeah!
      Screw the 1st Amendment!

    • Joe

      April 19, 2022 at 7:26 pm

      What a dope he is. Battling Disney over his lack of common sense. How exactly will this help Florida? What does it do besides feed his ego? This is a result of that jackass Trump and his idiot followers. I’m a Republican but we’re overflowing with morons. It’s embarrassing.

  • Andrew Finn

    April 19, 2022 at 2:54 pm

    too bad we can’t have a special session that targets Emperor DeSantis and gets rid of him. This self-created “Florida Fuhrer” needs to go !!!!! Can’t wait until November to vote for anybody, and I mean ANYBODY, who runs against who runs against his majesty. DeSantis the DeSpicable needs to be gone !!!!!!!!!!!!

    • CmonDisney!

      April 19, 2022 at 3:32 pm

      Upper 50s Approval rating……DeSantis isn’t going anywhere. Well done DeSantis. I’m glad you are supporting parents who don’t want their children in K-3 being taught sex ed from Teachers w/o a parent being aware. It’s amazing the level of obliviousness in people’s opinions on this. “This seems like more government” “Less free market” The Government gave a company these special exemptions, do they give the same exemptions to Disney’s competition? That is where government has interfered with the free market. This would be correcting that. “Pack up everything I mean everything” It would cost Disney tens of billions of dollars to rebuild it and where would you put it? Florida has the weather that can handle year round attendance. Where else are you getting that on the east coast? Disney is not at risk of leaving. The leverage is with DeSantis and the Florida legislature.

      • Since you said

        April 19, 2022 at 7:37 pm

        “Tens of millions”

        You mean the returns on a Pixar movie?

  • Paul

    April 19, 2022 at 3:43 pm

    Such a thin-skinned man. He’s been happy to take their campaign contributions all these years, but one criticism and his panties get all wadded up. Grow up Governor…and you too, Reps Fine and Bradley.

  • Emilio

    April 19, 2022 at 3:51 pm

    Disney, you can not be expected to be treated as a form of government and then turn around and support one specific group of individuals by providing political funds to that group and not another. Particularly, when you make money by your ability to act as a form of self governing government that other parks in the Orlando area do not enjoy. Disney welcome to being treated like everyone else. Other parks will now be playing with the same rules as Disney.

    • John

      April 19, 2022 at 5:30 pm

      Actually Disney is a private business and can do what it wants.

      Disney is rolling in money. It won’t take any time whatsoever to get the park moved over to another state.

      Move Disney. No one wants to visit Florida anyway. The government is controlling private businesses and even schools now. It’s Russia.

    • TD

      April 19, 2022 at 5:34 pm

      Literally all the comments before this one are completely unhinged partisan whackjobs from one “side” or the other. Then Emilio comes in like a boss and throws down the equal treatment under the law gauntlet, and it’s crickets from both “sides.” Shows you what is missing, if not intentionally excluded, from the “debate.” We need so much more of this. Take all the subsidies away, cut all the rich parasites off, make the woke cockroaches and something-for-nothing crowd face reality. Make politics an existential battle between those who can abide by neutral laws and be treated like everyone else, and the useless, deadweight, hangers-on — rich and poor alike — who can’t.

  • John

    April 19, 2022 at 5:28 pm

    There is nothing scarier in all the world than to see a government politician flagrantly telling private businesses and education institutions what to do.

    I am reminded of Nazi book-burning and bans. Russian control over private businesses.

    When the state tries to control information (books) and businesses (Where’s your SS Florida?), this isn’t America anymore. Disney should get out of Florida now while it can. The sooner Disney leaves Florida, the sooner DeSantis faces his 72,000 dead COVID victims and nothing but retirees walking on beaches. Florida will rot like it belongs, and the government will be to blame.

  • Frankie M.

    April 20, 2022 at 9:19 pm

    Didn’t Ronnie’s staffers originally approve the Reedy Creek deal to begin with? Looks like somebody has a case of CRS.

    I’m kind of enjoying Ronnie playing chicken with Disney. It’s like playing chicken with a train. You already know who’s gonna win. Would be cool to see Disney pull up stakes and move to LA…that’s lower Alabama ya’ll. Ronnie’s victory would be complete then. He is after all a legend in his own mind.

Comments are closed.


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