Florida special session: 189-page bill proposes future of Reedy Creek

ORLANDO, Fla. — Floridian now have a better idea of what state lawmakers want to do with Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement District.

The details are in a bill that was filed on the first day of Florida’s latest special session, much of which is focused on Disney’s district.


Lawmakers voted to end the company’s self-governing status during another special session last April.

Under current Florida law, landowners within Reedy Creek elect board members. Because  Disney owns of much of the land within the district but now if the bill passes, the state would perform a de facto takeover of Reedy Creek. But it’s not dissolving exactly the way it proposed last year.

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Some of the highlights of the 189-page bill include:

  • A name change, calling it now the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District.
  • A board of five members, picked by the governor and confirmed by the senate.
  • The members will have terms that last for four years.
  • Board members won’t be able to have ties to any theme park for three years in order to be considered.
  • And the Reedy Creek district will be dissolved on June 1, if the bill passes.

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There is also some good news for taxpayers in Orange and Osceola counties the $1 billion estimate of debt will continue to fall on Reedy Creek and not them.

Some other topics scheduled for this current session include illegal immigration and clarifying the power of the state-wide prosecutor in election crime cases.

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Shannon Butler

Shannon Butler, WFTV.com

Shannon joined the Eyewitness News team in 2013.

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.