Proposed Amendments to Reedy Creek Improvement District Bill Seek to Limit Governor’s Power

House Bill 9B, introduced a few days ago, outlines how the state of Florida will take over Walt Disney World’s Reedy Creek Improvement District instead of dissolving it with a board appointed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. Representatives Eskamani and Harris have proposed amendments to the bill that would limit the Governor’s power over the board.

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The current proposal includes a board of five members all appointed by the Florida Governor and confirmed by the Senate. No one who has worked for a theme park complex within three years will be permitted to serve, nor are landowners in the district permitted to serve.

One of the new proposed amendments expands the board from five to seven. Three members would be appointed by the Cabinet and confirmed by the Senate. The other seats would be for the mayor of Orange County, the mayor of Orlando, the mayor of Kissimmee, and the chair of the Osceola Board of Country Commissioners.

Other proposed amendments further limit who can be appointed to the board of directors. They would not allow people who have previously contributed to a political committee affiliated with the governor or to the governor’s re-election campaign. Board members would not be allowed to have held elected office in the ten years preceding their appointment nor have been an elevated official in the past ten years.

Another amendment also ensures the governor would not be able to appoint people based on bribes:

The Governor, on his or her own behalf or on behalf of any other person, may not accept anything of value, including, but not limited to, campaign contributions or transportation free of charge on privately owned aircraft, from a vendor, contractor, company, or other person financially affiliated with the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District.

The current bill seeks to rename the district to the “Central Florida Tourism Oversight District,” but another amendment proposes “Florida’s Attempt to Silence Critical and Independent Speech and Thought.”

A State Affairs Committee meeting will be held at 2:00 p.m. today to discuss the bill and amendments.

Read more about the Reedy Creek Improvement District bill.

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