Florida Government Proposes Bill to Assume Control of Disney District

The bill would allow the state government to instate a board to control the district.

The bill would allow the state government to instate a board to control the district.

Since last year, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has picked a prolonged fight with the Walt Disney Company over their ownership of the Reedy Creek Improvement District, the section of Florida land where Walt Disney World is situated. As Disney owns exclusive rights to this land, it runs and pays for local services rather than the Florida state government. Gov. DeSantis previously proposed legislation to officially dissolve the district and end Disney’s ownership of it, though this initial draft ultimately fell through.

This week, Gov. DeSantis proposed a new bill that, instead of dissolving the district entirely, would give the state authority to instate an oversight board to monitor it. The Florida Senate would select and appoint members, none of which would be permitted to be former or current Disney employees. Additionally, if passed, the bill would rename the district to the “Central Florida Tourism Oversight District.”

“Florida is dissolving the Corporate Kingdom and beginning a new era of accountability and transparency,” Bryan Griffin, DeSantis’ press secretary, said in a statement.

In response to the bill’s announcement, Jeff Vahle, the president of Walt Disney World Resort, said that the company is watching the proceedings closely to determine their stance. “Disney works under a number of different models and jurisdictions around the world, and regardless of the outcome, we remain committed to providing the highest quality experience for the millions of guests who visit each year,” he said.

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