DeSantis To Handpick Disney District Oversight Board

The Florida Phoenix reports:

A legislative proposal introduced Monday in the Florida Legislature would rename the Reedy Creek Improvement District that has been controlled by Disney World in Central Florida for more than 55 years and replace it with a new board selected exclusively by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The 189-page proposal (HB 9B) is being sponsored in the Florida House by Representative Fred Hawkins, who represents parts of Orange and Osceola counties in the Legislature.

The measure would rename the Reedy Creek Improvement District to the “Central Florida Tourism Oversight District” and would consist of five members, all appointed by DeSantis upon confirmation of the Florida Senate.

The Tallahassee Democrat reports:

The district’s boundaries in Orange and Osceola counties include four theme parks, two water parks, one sports complex, 175 lane miles of roads, 67 miles of waterway, the cities of Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista, an environmental science laboratory, an electric power-generating and distribution facility, a natural gas distribution system, water and wastewater collection and treatment facilities, a solid waste and recyclables collection and transfer system, and more than 40,000 hotel rooms and hundreds of restaurants and retail stores. Taxpayers in Orange and Osceola counties outside of the district do not pay for building or maintaining services inside Reedy Creek’s boundaries.

The Associated Press reports:

The meeting is the latest development in a high-profile feud between DeSantis and Disney over the company’s criticism of a law dubbed by critics as “Don’t Say Gay,” which bars instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade and lessons deemed not age appropriate.

The governor, in going after Disney, displayed a willingness to penalize one of the state’s biggest employers and political donors, reinforcing the combative leadership style that has propelled him to national political stardom and appeals to conservative primary voters.