Gov. Ron DeSantis signs “Reedy Creek” bill


Austin Lloyd, Staff Writer

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the “Reedy Creek” bill on Monday, setting a plan to limit the powers of Disney into motion. The signing is DeSantis’ latest move in the public feud that he has with the iconic brand.

The bill takes a shot at Disney by giving DeSantis the ability to replace the members of Reedy Creek’s district board with members of his own choosing. As a result, he will have governmental control over Disney and the special privileges that it may have once been able to receive.

“Today, the corporate kingdom finally comes to an end,” Gov. DeSantis said. “There’s a new sheriff in town and accountability will be the order of the day.”

The Reedy Creek Improvement District has been the site of Disney’s personal government presence for decades, so DeSantis making a point of commandeering it has already been established as a subject of great controversy on social media. His seemingly doing it out of spite following a previous disagreement on the Florida Parental Rights in Education Act (often called the “Don’t Say Gay” Act) has only fueled said controversy.

On Twitter, a multitude of media personalities spoke out in opposition to the move. Rep. Anna Eskamani was one of the more prominent figures to voice her concerns. Eskamani, a Democrat and Orlando native who is currently serving as a member of the Florida House of Representatives, used the social platform to share her official response to the news.

“All this bill does is rename Reedy Creek and allow Governor DeSantis to appoint hostile conservative cronies to a new board,” Rep. Eskamani said. “Disney still maintains the same tax breaks – but their First Amendment rights have been suppressed, and it sends a message to any private individual or company that if you don’t purport to what the Governor wants, then you’ll be punished.”

To add to the conflict, even some Republicans refused to congratulate DeSantis on the signing, viewing it as a “weak” move. One man who described it as such was Anthony Sabatini.

Sabatini, a Republican attorney and former state representative, was upset that the bill still allowed Disney to have exclusive luxuries, with the main example he gave being tax exemptions.

“There are no other companies with these special privileges in Florida,” Sabatini said in a Twitter post of his own. “Disney won. Florida caved and should be embarrassed by this.”

Beyond how politicians might feel about the bill and its impact from a personal perspective, all eyes have been on Disney to see how the company itself will react to this turn of events. However, Disney is reportedly both willing and ready to work under the new legislation, perhaps for the sake of a more civil relationship with DeSantis and the Florida government going forward.