Charlie Crist calls Reedy Creek dissolution ‘probably unconstitutional’

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“The fact that our Governor and our legislature are trying to pick on them for expressing free speech is astonishing."

Gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist said he believes the Legislature and Gov. Ron DeSantis’ approval of legislation to strike Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement District is “probably unconstitutional.”

What spurred the legislation is The Walt Disney Co.’s vocal opposition to HB 1557, which bans the teaching of sexual orientation or gender identity from K-3rd grade and opens the door for further limits at other grade levels. DeSantis said he was irked by a Disney statement while signing the bill that dissolves the district in 2023 last week.

While signing the bill, DeSantis said Disney’s statement against HB 1557 was a move from an out-of-state corporation to “marshal your economic might to attack the parents of my state.”

“We view that as a provocation,” he said during Wednesday’s virtual news conference. “And we’re going to fight back against that.”

Crist, who has previously opposed the Republican-driven Reedy Creek dissolution, said the legislation attacked one of the state’s most revered institutions and largest employers for engaging in free speech.

“The fact that our Governor and our legislature are trying to pick on them for expressing free speech is astonishing,” Crist said. “I think it’s probably unconstitutional, frankly. And I think it’s awful.”

He also cited recent reports that the taxpayers of Orange and Osceola counties could feel the dissolution most.

“I think it’s going to be about a $2 billion hit. I’ve seen reports in the news that the average per homeowner in both Orange and Osceola County could be a $2,200 a year increase,” Crist said. “I thought Republicans are supposed to be against tax increases, and this will probably be the largest single tax increase on the citizens who live in both orange and Osceola County.”

Crist said the focus from DeSantis on issues like the improvement district and issues like textbook bans is coming from his 2024 Presidential aspirations and not from a place of good governance.

“You need to be focused on Florida if you’re the Governor of the Sunshine State. And he is clearly, as I like to say, often more focused on Iowa voters than he is Florida people and Florida children in school,” Crist said.

Last updated on April 27, 2022

Tristan Wood

Tristan Wood graduated from the University of Florida in 2021 with a degree in Journalism. A South Florida native, he has a passion for political and accountability reporting. He previously reported for Fresh Take Florida, a news service that covers the Florida Legislature and state political stories operating out of UF’s College of Journalism and Communications. You can reach Tristan at [email protected], or on Twitter @TristanDWood


5 comments

  • Linwood Wright

    April 27, 2022 at 1:43 pm

    It’s absolutely unconstitutional. But what else would you expect from Republican swine these days?

    Republicans actively hate American values and the constitution.

  • tom palmer

    April 27, 2022 at 2:05 pm

    Absent a court ruling, people should withhold opining on whether anything is “unconstitutional;” so they don’t look stupid later.

  • Tom

    April 28, 2022 at 8:44 pm

    You are correct Palmer! Agreed.
    Idiocy by Camillion crisp and fake moniker.

    Govt 101, Legislature enacting law with the signature of the Executive/Governor is statute.
    As I understand it, Florida constitution was passed after the Reedy creek district was enacted. Florida constitution empowers legislature. Would be foolish for Disney or third party to challenge this action.

    Legislature will clearly follow up to address any inconsistencies. They may even negotiate a new agreement, with all parties.

    Disney will not be allowed to walk away regardless. Nor do I believe they would.

    Legislatures rein supreme with signature of Governor. And the blue tyrannical states proved they don’t need legislatures.

    • Foght

      April 29, 2022 at 12:24 am

      “They may even negotiate a new agreement”

      That Disney will refuse becuase they broke the last lol

  • Tom

    April 29, 2022 at 7:31 am

    Idiocy as always.

Comments are closed.


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