On Monday, Governor Ron DeSantis was joined by Agriculture Commissioner Wilton Simpson and members of the Legislature to announce legislative and Central Florida Tourism Oversight District (CFTOD) Board actions to nullify the eleventh-hour agreements adopted by the outgoing Reedy Creek Improvement District (RCID) with Walt Disney World. These agreements are riddled with legal deficiencies, including including failure to provide required notices, and are a blatant attempt by a private corporation to subvert the will of Floridians through shady tactics.
“Disney’s corporate kingdom is over – despite their repeated and futile attempts to circumvent the Legislature and the will of the people,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “Their cheerleaders in the media thought that Disney ‘outsmarted’ the state, but the new control board uncovered their sloppy scheme, and the agreements will be nullified by new legislation that I intend to execute. Disney will operate on a level playing field with every other business in Florida. I look forward to the additional actions that the state control board will implement in the upcoming days.”
“The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services stands ready to work with Governor DeSantis and the Florida Legislature on ideas to increase public safety. Nobody wants more bureaucracy and mindless red tape from government, but we should always consider appropriate safety measures consistent with actual risk,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Wilton Simpson. “The Legislature will close a loophole, resulting in a better experience for visitors and residents in the Sunshine State who enjoy our many theme parks.”
Section 163.3241, Florida Statutes (F.S.), requires revocation of a development agreement if the Legislature subsequently enacts legislation that precludes compliance with the agreement. The proposed legislation would prevent compliance with “poison pill” agreements like the collusive agreements executed by Disney and the prior Disney-controlled RCID board. Additionally, the newly established CFTOD Board is expected to take up an action to declare the RCID development agreement void and unenforceable.