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Rep. Eskamani calls plan to disband Reedy Creek Improvement District bullying

State Rep. Anna Eskamani. Photo: Isaac Babcock, WMFE
State Rep. Anna Eskamani. Photo: Isaac Babcock, WMFE

Governor Ron DeSantis and Republicans in the legislature want to disband the Reedy Creek Improvement District which allows Disney to function like a mini-government. 

The legislature would have to call a special session to repeal the Reedy Creek Improvement Act which has been in place since 1967.

If they’re successful, the Reedy Creek District would fall back under Orange County’s jurisdiction. The parks would rely on county services for upkeep and the company would have to get permission before constructing new buildings.

Orlando Democratic Rep. Anna Eskamani says she’s all for making sure big corporations don’t get special breaks in Florida, but she’s worried about the economic impact of such a move on Disney workers. 

"There really has not been an evidence-based analysis on the economic impact of Reedy Creek today. And what would happen if it was eliminated. I think there needs to be legitimate research done, versus just punitive performative politics because there are questions that have not been answered of what the economic impact would be with changing something that has been in statute since the 60s."

Eskamani says what DeSantis is doing is simply a power move.

"He's trying to paint the picture to any other stakeholder that if you dare challenge him, you will be punished. And he's done the same thing to higher educational institutions. And he's doing the same thing to, to now the business community to the point where you have corporations like Disney, who who employ 70,000 people in this state, and yet their opinion on a bigoted bill is being dismissed."

Republican Governor Ron DeSantis has been critical of the company since CEO Bob Chapek came out in opposition to the Parental Rights in Education or so-called Don’t Say Gay Act.

Danielle Prieur covers education in Central Florida.