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DeSantis says bill replacing Disney's Reedy Creek means 'a new sheriff in town'

Governor's Office
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Florida Speaker of the House Paul Renner speaks at a press conference with Gov. Ron DeSantis in Ocala on Wednesday.

Republican leaders in Florida laid out their expectations Wednesday for a bill to replace Disney's self-governing Reedy Creek Improvement District near Orlando.

The bill — House Bill 9B — is making its way through a special session.

At a press conference in Ocla, Gov. Ron DeSantis said "there's a new sheriff in town" for the 25,000 acres where Walt Disney World sits and where, for 55 years, it has controlled its own local government.

House Speaker Paul Renner said a board appointed by the governor will maintain full control of the district.

"So if there's any, anything you can point us to that doesn't create a level playing field, that gives them any exemption that anybody else, like a Universal or a SeaWorld, doesn't have, you let us know," he said. "I promise you we will fix that."

The move to strip Disney of its special district started last year after the company opposed controversial legislation banning instruction in early grades about gay and transgender people.

Joe Byrnes came to WMFE/WMFV from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.
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