Last week, we learned that Florida State Senator Linda Stewart was preparing to file a bill seeking to repeal Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ takeover of the former Reedy Creek Improvement District (RCID), which was replaced by the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District (CFTOD). The full text of the bill has now been released.
New Bill Seeks to Restore Reedy Creek Improvement District
WKMG’s Landon McReynolds shared the full text of the bill on X. You can read the text in full below.
An act relating to the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, Orange and Osceola Counties; repealing chapter 2023-5, Laws of Florida, which established the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District; reviving, reenacting, and readopting chapter 67-764, Laws of Florida, and the decree in chancery No. 66-1061 entered by the Circuit Court in and for the Ninth Judicial Circuit of the State of Florida on May 13, 1966, relating to the Reedy Creek Improvement District; reconstituting the Reedy Creek Improvement District as it existed as of February 26, 2023; terminating the terms of office of the Board of Supervisors of the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District; providing transitional provisions; providing for construction; providing an effective date.
Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
Section 1. Chapter 2023-5, Laws of Florida, is repealed.
Section 2. Notwithstanding chapter 2023-5, Laws of Florida, chapter 67-764, Laws of Florida, and the decree in chancery No. 66-1061 entered by the Circuit Court in and for the Ninth Judicial Circuit of the State of Florida on May 13, 1966, creating and incorporating the Reedy Creek Drainage District as a public corporation of the State of Florida, are revived, reenacted, and readopted. The terms of the charter for the Reedy Creek Improvement District shall be as it existed on February 26, 2023.
Section 3. The offices and terms of all members of the Board of Supervisors of the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District existing as of the effective date of this act shall end as of the effective date of this act, but such members may continue to serve until a successor in office is appointed and qualified. Until successors are appointed and qualified to replace all of the members of the board of supervisors existing as of the effective date of this act, board members, officers, and employees of the district may not sell, dispose of, encumber, transfer, or expend the assets of the district as such assets existed on the effective date of this act, other than in the ordinary course of business
Section 4. This act may not be construed to affect or otherwise impair any existing contract that the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District entered into, or any bond or other instrument of indebtedness issued by the district, from February 27, 2023, through the effective date of this act.
Section 5. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.
Senator Stewart previously said that CFTOD has “been plagued by cronyism and sagging employee morale” since DeSantis took over in February. In October, it was reported that over 30 employees left the District due to an “uncomfortable,” “stressful,” and “toxic” work environment. Most recently, two officials and two other employees of the District were fired amid this news.
I am looking at every avenue possible to get this overturned. We are going to try to get people to vote and see how many people still believe in how they voted the first time.Senator Linda Stewart
The legislative delegation of Orange County will convene and discuss the bill on November 29, 2023. It’s unlikely the bill will make it through the Florida Senate as it is controlled by Republicans and Senate President Kathleen Passidomo supported the takeover of the former RCID.
There is a possibility that the bill could pick up bipartisan support from Republican State Senator Joe Gruters, who “signaled in a text message to the Orlando Sentinel” that he would consider supporting the bill. Gruters is backing DeSantis’ presidential opponent, Former President Donald Trump.
Gruters also previously voted against signing an amendment to void Disney’s control over development in Central Florida.