The HB9B bill to allow Florida to take control of the Reedy Creek Improvement District has passed it’s first hurdle with the State Affairs Committee. This bill would change the name of the Reedy Creek Improvement District to the ‘Central Florida Tourism Oversight District.’
Tomorrow the bill will move onto the House of Representatives and then onto the Senate. Many believe the bill will pass. It’s being backed by Republicans and some Democrats.
Opposition seemingly has the most issue with how a new five-person board would be appointed. Instead of a board member owning land in the Reedy Creek area, now a board member is only required to be a Florida resident.
They are also concerned about Governor DeSantis appointing the board and the possibility of bias happening again, but this time by the governor instead of Disney.
Democrat Representative Anna Eskamani of Orlando said:
“There is consensus that the original board makeup was problematic. They were appointed by Disney and Disney had the ultimate power. But you are creating a different swamp by having one person in charge of appointing the board.”
Republican Representative and bill sponsor Fred Hawkins of St. Cloud gave this response when asked why this is the only special district being controlled in this way:
“We are putting them on an equal playing field with … competitors in the tourism industry,” Hawkins said. “This takes away special advantages they’ve had for the past 50 years or more.”
Until now Disney had the power to redraw boundaries, build their own roads, build and airport or a nuclear power plant if they wanted to. Other theme parks were not given the same privileges. Disney also would allegedly use public funds to advertise and promote their attraction while competition could not.
We should know soon if this will pass fully.
What do you think? Comment and let us know!
Source: Orlando Sentinel
Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered news blog that covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer's point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.