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Special session set for Monday on Disney's Reedy Creek district, other issues

Image: Disney, Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons
The Florida Legislature is poised to create a state-controlled special district to replace the Disney-run Reedy Creek Improvement District in Central Florida.

The Florida Legislature will hold a special session beginning Monday to create a new state-controlled district replacing Walt Disney World's Reedy Creek in Central Florida.

The Legislature will slip that bill and others in next week, while still getting ready for the regular session that starts a month later.

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill last year stripping Disney of its self-governing Reedy Creek Improvement District. That law takes effect in June of this year.

Reedy Creek was established in 1967 and, as of 2021, held more than $900 million in long-term debt.

Lawmakers canceled Reedy Creek after Disney came out against a bill to ban teaching about LGBTQ people in early grades. That bill, theParental Rights in Education Act, is known to critics as the "Don't Say Gay" bill.

DeSantis says the new district will ensure that Disney, and not taxpayers, pay off its debt.

In a memo, the Senate president says the special session will also address emergency management needs, the statewide prosecutor's role in election crimes, intercollegiate athletics, and a program to "facilitate the voluntary transport of unauthorized migrants."

Joe Byrnes came to Central Florida Public Media from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.
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