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 April 19, 2023

Florida Republican senator makes last-minute counterpunch to Disney's deal with Reedy Creek

Last year, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) moved to take punitive action against Disney for stepping into politics, and the fight between Disney, the state, and Reedy Creek continues to take twists and turns.

That was evidenced in a big way this week after Florida state GOP Sen. Blaise Ingoglia introduced a last-minute amendment to quash what many believe to be a shady deal between the Reedy Creek Improvement District board and Disney to allow the entertainment company to continue living autonomously.

The Washington Examiner noted that Sen. Ingoglia introduced an amendment to trash the deal, which the outlet said was "aimed to undercut the state takeover of the central Florida district encompassing the Walt Disney World Resort."

The governor's office, for its part, had already pledged to use all of its available powers to make sure the deal between the two entities didn't go through.

Details of the amendment are particularly strategic.

The Examiner explained:

The amendment, which does not directly name the Reedy Creek Improvement District or the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, allows for an "independent special district" to be "precluded from complying with the terms of any development agreement" that was made in the three months before the effective date of a law changing how the governing body of the district is made up.

"An independent special district is precluded from complying with the terms of any development agreement, and any other agreement for which the development agreement serves in whole or part as consideration, executed within 3 months preceding the effective date of a law modifying the manner of selecting members of the governing body of the independent special district from election to appointment or from appointment to election," the senator's amendment read.

It added: "The newly elected or appointed governing body of the independent special district shall review within 4 months of taking office any development agreement and any other agreement for which the development agreement serves in whole or part as consideration and, after such review, shall vote on whether to seek readoption of such agreement."

Ingoglia made it crystal clear that he would not allow Disney to win this battle. During a recent press conference, he urged Disney to "let it go," making a reference to "Frozen," a popular Disney movie.

"I know this governor well, so I have a couple of words for Disney. You are not going to win this fight. This governor will. And one word of advice to Disney corporation going forward: Just let it go. Let it go. That's it," the Republican state senator said.

Reedy Creek is a special taxing district and public corporation established by the state of Florida in 1967. It was created to provide essential municipal services and infrastructure to the Walt Disney World Resort, which spans over 25,000 acres in Central Florida.

Disney has enjoyed decades of unfettered control over their virtually sovereign plot of land.

Only time will tell who wins this fight, but I know which entity I'd put my money on.

Written By:
Ryan Ledendecker

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