Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis

“Disney Defenders” Launch Florida Ballot Initiative

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis
Disney World Orlando, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis

A political committee called “Disney Defenders” has launched a ballot initiative to put the Reedy Creek Improvement District in the Florida Constitution and re-establish powers that the Legislative gave to the district in 1967.

The proposal, posted this month on the state Division of Elections website, came after the Legislature in February approved a bill that gave Gov. Ron DeSantis the authority to appoint the special district’s five-member Board of Supervisors and changed the name to the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District.

When the Legislature created Reedy Creek, it essentially gave Walt Disney World control over issues such as land use, fire protection and sewer services that are typically handled by local governments.

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But Disney angered DeSantis and Republican lawmakers last year when it opposed a law that restricts classroom instruction on gender identity and sexual orientation.

That ultimately resulted in the changes passed in February. The political committee would need to submit 891,589 valid petition signatures to the state to get the proposal on the 2024 ballot.

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