Reedy Creek ‘fix’ might have to wait, legislative leaders say
Mickey and Minnie Mouse make an appearance for Disney Day at the Capitol, featuring Disney World Ambassadors and Cast Members with displays and activities celebrating the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World. Attendees were able to sign up for the new Disney specialty license plate, as the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles accepted applications on-site.

DISNEY DAY TALLY 2022
'I don’t know if they can fix this. … I think they may have been outwitted by the board.'

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration is vowing to take legal action against the former board members of the former Reedy Creek Improvement District over their move to cement the Walt Disney Company’s control over the district, but Senate and House leaders are unsure there’s a legislative solution to the issue, at least during the current Regular Session.

“I think we’re going to take a look at it, I’m sure … to see what they actually did,” Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, a Naples Republican, told reporters. “It’s too early to do anything right now and we’ve got a lot on our plate for the rest of this Session so I don’t anticipate doing anything in the near term.”

At their meeting this week, the board of the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, formerly known as Reedy Creek, discovered the previous board approved a deal that allows Disney to retain control over height and building codes and land use within the district for the foreseeable future.

DeSantis’ aides said there are “legal infirmities” in the contract and hinted at litigation in the future. Attorney General Ashley Moody has issued a public records request of documents related to the maneuver.

Disney, though, has said the deal was approved in a public meeting that was properly noticed and in line with Florida’s public meeting laws.

House Speaker Paul Renner, a Palm Coast Republican, said he’s unsure if there’s anything the Legislature can do but he backs the Governor’s pushback.

“In terms of legislatively, I don’t know, but I’m fully supportive of the Governor taking action. I think what’s happened is disingenuous to say the least,” Renner told reporters Friday. “The way it happened is frankly a lack of candor in terms of how they noticed it and how they went about it. I think they acted in bad faith, I think that’s pretty simple.”

Democrats, though, noted the irony in Republicans feeling tricked over the situation. The move to revoke Disney’s control of the district that covers its area of operations in Central Florida stemmed from DeSantis’ reaction to former Disney CEO Bob Chapek’s comments opposing the first Parental Rights in Education law, dubbed by opponents as “Don’t Say Gay.”

The law banned instruction on gender identity and sexual orientation in grades K-3. DeSantis pushed the Legislature to dissolve Reedy Creek in a Special Session last year after Iger’s comments. They did so, but delayed the effective date until June 30, 2023.

That gave lawmakers time to craft a long-term solution, as dissolving the district entirely would place its outstanding debt on the hands of local taxpayers in Osceola and Orange counties. In another Special Session called in February, lawmakers opted to rename the district, put DeSantis in charge of its board and remove some of its control over building codes and other perks it received.

But at the same time, the Reedy Creek board was moving to thwart the new law.

“It sounds to me like somebody in the Governor’s Office took their eye off the ball because as I read and understand everything was properly noticed and went through the proper channels,” said House Democratic Leader Fentrice Driskell of Tampa. “I don’t know if they can fix this. … I think they may have been outwitted by the board.”

Gray Rohrer


25 comments

  • TD

    March 31, 2023 at 5:42 pm

    It seems like Florida sovereign immunity law, if it is congruent with that of Texas, should permit the new board to tear up the contract made by the prior board under these circumstances. Then, if Disney claimed breach, the board would be immune from suit. Florida does not have a state Supreme Court case like Texas does that expressly approves such a course of action, but Florida’s existing precedents do point towards that same understanding of sovereign immunity. Obviously the legislature can also clarify.

    See Catalina Development, Inc. v. County of El Paso, 121 S.W.3d 704, 706 (Tex. 2003):

    Specifically, Collins asserts that the County waived immunity by advertising for bids to sell the land, accepting Collins’s bid, accepting and depositing Collins’s earnest money, and sending Collins an earnest money contract to sign. The County responds that these activities constitute nothing more than acts of contract formation, which this Court has already stated do not, by themselves, waive immunity from suit. . . .We agree with El Paso County. . . .
    Indeed, the facts presented here illustrate a fundamental reason why immunity exists—to prevent governmental entities from being bound by the policy decisions of their predecessors. See IT-Davy, 74 S.W.3d at 854 (stating that “legislative control ensures that current policymakers are neither bound by, nor held accountable for, policies underlying their predecessors’ long-term contracts”) (citing Harold J. Krent, Reconceptualizing Sovereign Immunity, 45 Vand. L.Rev. 1529, 1538 (1992)). In this case, the County, upon an electoral change in the commissioners court, determined that selling the property to Collins was a poor decision. Rather than lock El Paso County residents into a contract not in their best interest, the court acted within its discretion to protect the perceived interests of the public by rejecting the contract. In doing so, the County did not profit unfairly at Collins’s expense.

    • Bert Stimson

      March 31, 2023 at 9:37 pm

      Oh hey look everybody, it’s Ron’s legal intern who got the job by tweeting anti-Disney legal propaganda since Strange World came out! How cute

      • Bert Stimson

        March 31, 2023 at 9:40 pm

        What I’m saying is this is a bad legal argument

        • denny crane

          April 5, 2023 at 1:17 pm

          then offer us yours champ.

    • Atomic Kommie Comics

      April 1, 2023 at 1:39 am

      Amateur lawyer TD believes she’s found a loophole DISNEY’s lawyers missed?
      🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

    • Uthmieredyourmom

      April 3, 2023 at 11:56 am

      Florida coastal is missing a student.

  • tom palmer

    March 31, 2023 at 6:38 pm

    We’ll see how the legal arguments play out. It could simply be a case where DeSantis & Co. never considered the possibility that anyone would dare challenge or undermine what his lapdog legislators were preparing to approve.

  • Earl Pitts American

    March 31, 2023 at 8:23 pm

    Good evening smarty pants TD and smarty pants tom,
    I’M MAD AS #ELL
    You are both leftist beautiful dreamers and TD nobody except other leftist dreamers are impressed with your case references and your way too much fictional information.
    Bottom line minus your dreaming is this:
    The good guys, Florida, is the landlord and the bad guys, Disney are the tennants. The bad guys may have gotten an extension but I doubt it. I mean just look at what dirty rottin liars you leftists are about everything. News Flash boys the landlord always wins.
    So you guys just get on back to CNN and fill your fool heads with more leftist propaganda but spare us of your wacko CNN induced misinformation. You boys need to get on some Stormy Daniels porn for a few minutes and go to bed.
    Thank you smarty pants TD and smarty pants tom,
    Earl Pitts American is not impressed

    • Chatoyant

      March 31, 2023 at 9:23 pm

      So you don’t think property rights exist in Florida? That would be an unwelcome concern to every single property owner, commercial, community, or residential, I would think.

    • Bert Stimson

      March 31, 2023 at 9:38 pm

      Move to the ocean Earl Pimp Unamerican

      • Peggy

        March 31, 2023 at 11:19 pm

        Earl Pitts is a troll

    • Atomic Kommie Comics

      April 1, 2023 at 1:43 am

      Con girl Pitts believes Disney doesn’t own the property?
      Just because she lives in a double-wide in a trailer park doesn’t mean everybody else rents as she does!🤣

    • sK!

      April 1, 2023 at 4:50 am

      Beware the sons of Molly Malone.

      History says sometimes the tenents hang the landlord.

    • NoOneImpressedWithEarl

      April 1, 2023 at 12:46 pm

      Sounds like Earl is just another of the cadre of duped rubes who cling to every word Tucker Carlson says. But hey, he is an American! LOL

      NO ONE cares what you think, Earl. Now go check on your Trump flag. Someone might have stolen it from your front lawn.

    • Blork

      April 1, 2023 at 5:49 pm

      So desperate you’re unwittingly promoting authoritarian socialism. That’s just sad.

    • Matt S

      April 2, 2023 at 11:51 am

      I would like to be clear. Besides your dislike of leftists you think that the government has the right to cancel contracts it doesn’t like. You think it is OK for the government to interfere with private businesses. But your don’t like leftists.

  • Bert Stimson

    March 31, 2023 at 9:44 pm

    Funny words, those “disingenuous” and “bad faith” — you might think Renner is referring to the entirety of the Florida GOP platform.

    As has been said, every accusation is a confession for Republicans.

  • Ron DeSantis wears High Heels

    March 31, 2023 at 10:59 pm

    “Fix” what exactly?
    Disney did nothing wrong.

    DeSantis is just a think skinned ManBaby who couldn’t handle criticism like a grown up, so he threw a tantrum like a 4 year old.

  • Charlotte Greenbarg

    April 1, 2023 at 8:14 am

    Stark and obvious differences between the scholarly opinion of TD and the 🤪Far left mouth frothers By their own words..l

  • Earl Pitts American

    April 1, 2023 at 9:47 am

    Good morning America,
    Just a few words of truth from the man who owns all the leftist posters above and Earl Pitts American’s property which he totally owns brave enough to post below:
    Earl Pitts American is right and you are all wrong. Just watch and see how the Disney thing turns out.
    And further more Disney is parterning with you leftist’s favorite slave owner, you have their product in the pocket of your pants right now. Thats right evil leftists Disney and your favorite slave master who makes your beloved Apple products with Slave Labor in China are in talks to merge into one giant evil business.
    So techinally all you leftist posters above and below are defacto Slave Owners.
    Shame On You All Each And Every One.
    Thank you America,
    Earl Pitts American

  • Ocean Joe

    April 1, 2023 at 10:14 am

    Florida made a deal with Disney long ago, and our tourism industry has been showered with wealth and jobs ever since.

    Only a moron would jeopardize this.

    The governor has a legislature. When do the people of Florida get one? Quit wasting money to win votes from dumb rednecks. They’ll vote for you anyway. They’ll even try to vote for you twice.

    • Ron DeSantis wears High Heels

      April 1, 2023 at 10:09 pm

      “Only a moron would jeopardize this.”

      I see you’ve met the Governor!

  • PeterH

    April 1, 2023 at 11:31 am

    From CNN ….. Rhonda DeSantis’s Board:

    DeSantis stacked the board with political allies, including Tampa lawyer Martin Garcia, a prominent GOP donor; Bridget Ziegler, the wife of the new chairman of the Republican Party of Florida; and Peri, a former pastor who once suggested tap water could be making people gay.

    When you assign political hacks to manage corporate outcomes ….. expect the worse.

    The worse in this case will take a decade to resolve and hopefully The DeSantis Regime will be buried in political history.

  • Earl Pitts American

    April 1, 2023 at 12:42 pm

    Good afternoon America,
    I’m Mad As #ell,
    Disney made a deal with Florida long ago, and Florida’s tourism industry has showered Disney with wealth and jobs ever since.
    Only a moron would jepordize this.
    Thanks to my drinking buddy Ocean Joe for the inspiration to post my above true words.
    Thank you America,
    Earl Pitts American

  • Bob Bigkok

    April 1, 2023 at 5:59 pm

    Meatball Ron got Meatballed. TRUMP 2024

Comments are closed.


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