Gov. DeSantis Argues State WON’T Take On $1 Billion Disney Reedy Creek Debt, Contradicting Senate Analysis

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Ron DeSantis Disney World Reopening

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has again spoken out on his conflict with The Walt Disney Company.

Ron_DeSantis,_Official_Portrait,_113th_Congress
Credit: State of Florida Office of the Governor

In March, following fan and Cast Member protests, The Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Chapek spoke out against the Parental Rights in Education Act, also known as the “Don’t Say Gay” law.

Angered by this response, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis introduced and successfully passed legislation dissolving Walt Disney World’s Reedy Creek Improvement District, which has allowed them to operate its own municipal services since 1967.

Reedy Creek Fire Dept.
Credit: Reedy Creek Fire Department

According to a financial impact analysis by the Florida Senate, if the law is enacted in 2023, Florida taxpayers will take on these municipal expenses and $1 billion in bond debt currently held by Reedy Creek and Walt Disney World. Taxpayers filed a lawsuit against Governor DeSantis, but a Florida judge struck it down last week.

Today, Governor DeSantis contradicted his own Senate’s findings. According to Christopher Heath, political reporter for WFTV Orlando, DeSantis claims local and state governments will not take on the $1 billion debt upon the dissolution in 2023.

Reedy Creek Fire Department
Credit: Reedy Creek Fire Department Website

Heath writes:

On Reedy Creek (Disney’s $1 billion bond debt) @GovRonDeSantis says state and local won’t assume that debt. This is in contradiction to what the Senate’s own financial impact analysis said, local government “assume all indebtedness of the preexisting special district”

 

United States Republicans have joined Governor DeSantis in his so-called attack on The Walt Disney Company. Last week, Republican Senator Josh Hawley introduced a bill that would strip The Walt Disney Company of copyright protections, including one that keeps Mickey Mouse out of the public domain.

dont say gay bill protest
Credit: savelgbt

United States Representative Troy Nehls (R) wrote letters to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg asking them to revoke the “No-Fly Zones” over Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort. They’re the only two theme Parks in the United States with this privilege.

Related: Disney More Popular Than Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, New Poll Says

Should either legislation be passed through Congress, it would have to be signed by President Joe Biden, who recently called Republicans “crazy” for attacking The Walt Disney Company for speaking out against the “Don’t Say Gay” law. “They’re going to storm Cinderella’s Castle,” Biden joked with reporters.

united states president joe biden
Credit: @potus on Instagram

DeSantis hasn’t detailed a plan for replacing the Reedy Creek Improvement District but did say he plans for the state government and his own appointees to control the district rather than the local governments.

What do you think Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will do about the $1 billion in bond debt currently held by Walt Disney World and Reedy Creek? Let us know in the comments. 

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