After the Florida State Legislature passed a bill that would overhaul the Reedy Creek Improvement District and put it under state control, Governor Ron DeSantis signed it into law today, holding a press conference at the district’s fire station.
- Stepping up to the podium at the Reedy Creek Fire Station this morning, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis declared, “Today, the Corporate Kingdom finally comes to an end.”
- The governor has now signed a bill that will rename the Reedy Creek Improvement District as the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District and will see the district’s board replaced by one appointed by the governor and confirmed by the State Senate.
- DeSantis says he will formally appoint the board later today, announcing the following members:
- Martin Garcia (Tampa attorney)
- Bridget Ziegler (member of the Sarasota County School Board)
- Michael Sasso (Seminole County attorney)
- Ron Peri (CEO of The Gathering USA)
- Brian Aungst (Clearwater attorney)
- Asked about how he chose his appointment, DeSantis said he selected a board with a variety of experience, including business, local government, and those who “want to see Disney be what Walt envisioned”
- The new board is currently set to meet on Wednesday, March 8th.
- DeSantis stated that one of the priorities he’ll be pushing for when the board convenes is wage increases for first responders.
- After the signing of the bill, Reedy Creek firefighters presented the governor with an ax.
- Earlier in the press conference, the governor also invited several guests to speak on their experience with Disney, with topics including mask mandates, vaccine mandates, and “immoral” content mentioned.
- While this structure for the district was put into place to avoid burdening the citizens of Orange and Osceola counties with debt from the district, DeSantis did mention that the area could eventually be turned over to those local counties in the future.