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April 2022

Self government

Disney in the dark about Florida’s decision to dissolve self-government

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — At Walt Disney World’s first private government meeting since Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law a measure to disband it next year, officials said Wednesday they were still confused about the meaning of the new legislation, although some ripple effects were beginning to be felt.

The government administrator, called Reedy Creek Improvement District, said the expansion of a solar power project could be delayed due to funding issues related to legislation, and the district’s firefighters’ union has expressed concerns. concerns about what disbanding might mean for members. lifetime benefits.

After the meeting, Donald Greer, a member of Reedy Creek’s board of supervisors since 1975, said the board could not provide clear answers on these questions because “we don’t know where we are going.”

“The district may have an answer as soon as we know what that means, but I don’t know if anyone knows what that means. I don’t think anyone has deciphered it,” Greer said.

DeSantis signed the measure into law last week in a move that many saw as punishment for Disney’s opposition to yet another new law banning gender identity and the teaching of sexual orientation at the start of elementary school, which critics call “Don’t Say Gay”.

Last week, a day before DeSantis signed the bill, the Reedy Creek Improvement District sent a statement to investors saying it would continue financial operations as usual. The district wrote that its agreement with the state prohibits Florida from limiting or altering the district’s ability to collect taxes or meet its obligations.

Critics of the dissolution bill have warned that taxpayers in neighboring counties could end up shouldering around $1 billion in debt to the district. DeSantis dismissed those concerns and said additional legislation would be drafted to clarify the future of these special districts in the state.

At the Reedy Creek meeting on Wednesday, District Administrator John Classe said a developer had run into difficulty funding a planned expansion of a solar power program, meaning he could be delayed.

Jon Shirey, union chief of Reedy Creek firefighters, who make up about half of the 400 private government employees, asked supervisors to reassure his members that their jobs and benefits would be preserved.

“We were told to be quiet, not to talk to the media, not to deal with current events,” Shirey told supervisors. “We were told that the district leaders would tell the story. They will be the ones to get the message across. I ask you: ‘What is this message?’

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Sovereignty

Florida Legislature votes to strip Disney self-government in favor of DeSantis

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida House of Representatives on Thursday gave final passage to a bill that would dissolve the private government of Walt Disney World, giving Republican Governor Ron DeSantis a victory in his feud with the giant. Entertainment for opposing a measure that critics have dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” law.

The move could have huge tax implications for Disney, whose string of theme parks has turned Orlando into one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, and serves to further sour relations between the Republican-led government and a major political actor in the state.

For DeSantis, the attack on Disney is his latest salvo in a culture war waged against policies such as race, gender and the coronavirus, battles that have made him one of the most popular GOP politicians in the country. and a likely 2024 presidential candidate.

The dispute with Disney involves the company’s criticism of a new law banning teaching about sexual orientation and gender identity from kindergarten through third grade as well as teaching that is not “appropriate to age or development”.

In March, Disney announced it would suspend political donations in the state and added that it would in turn support organizations that oppose the new law. DeSantis and his fellow Republicans then lambasted Disney and defended the law as reasonable.

“Disney and other woke corporations will no longer get away with peddling their unchecked pressure campaigns,” DeSantis wrote in a fundraising pitch Wednesday. “If we’re going to hold the Democratic machine and its corporate lackeys accountable, we need to unite now.”

The bill passed by the Legislature on Thursday would eliminate the Reedy Creek Improvement District, as the Disney government is known, along with a handful of other similar districts by June 2023. The measure restores the districts, leaving an avenue to renegotiate its future. It is now moving to DeSantis’ office to be signed into law.

Democrats slammed the proposal as clear retaliation against the company and warned local property owners could be hit with big tax bills if they were to absorb Disney’s bond debt – though those details are far from clear.

Disney is one of Florida’s largest private employers, saying last year it had more than 60,000 workers in the state. It is not immediately clear how the company or local governments around its properties would be affected if the district were disbanded.

The creation of the Reedy Creek Improvement District and the control it gave Disney over 27,000 acres (11,000 hectares) in Florida was a crucial element in the company’s construction projects near Orlando in the 1960s Company officials said they needed autonomy to plan a futuristic city with the theme park. The city never materialized, however; instead, it turned into an Epcot theme park.

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Home rule

Florida governor paraphrases bill stripping Disney of self-governing authority

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill Friday that strips the Walt Disney Co of self-governing authority in its Orlando-area parks to counter resistance to a new bylaw that restricts teaching about LGBTQ issues. in schools. The Republican-controlled Legislature on Thursday approved the bill, which will remove special governmental jurisdiction that allows the organization to operate Walt Disney World Resort as its own town. Within the 25,000 acre territory, it serves four theme parks, two water parks and 175 miles of road.

Disney did not immediately comment on the signing of the bill.

Disney’s special status “was really an aberration,” DeSantis said at a press conference where he signed the bill. “No individual or business in Florida is treated this way.”

While the financial impact on the company and the state is uncertain, the change could alter the way Disney runs its sprawling Central Florida empire and strain the close relationship it has had with the state for more than a decade. 50 years.

DeSantis is a potential 2024 Republican presidential candidate who has courted conservative voters on issues including immigration, abortion and LGBTQ rights.

The governor said Friday that Disney would pay more taxes because of the law, but did not elaborate.

With his latest decision against Disney, DeSantis is trying to restore his conservative image by showing he’s ready to stand up to what he described as a “woke” California-based company that doesn’t share Florida values.

Disney initially did not publicly oppose LGBTQ legislation last month, drawing criticism from that community and some employees. The company later condemned the law and said it would suspend political donations in Florida pending a review.

The law, dubbed the “don’t say gay” bill by critics, prohibits classroom teaching about sexual orientation or gender identity for children in kindergarten through third grade. DeSantis supported the measure, saying it would give parents more control over their children’s education. Opponents call it a thinly veiled attempt to marginalize gay and transgender students, or children of gay parents.

At a fundraiser in Seattle on Thursday, President Joe Biden weighed in on the clash between Disney and Republicans in Florida. He said efforts to impose such constraints “have nothing to do with traditional conservative doctrine.” “I respect the Conservatives. There’s nothing conservative about deciding that you’re going to throw Disney out of its current posture because Mickey Mouse…shouldn’t…can’t say, you know, gay.

While the bill appears to be an attack on Disney and Orlando’s sprawling theme parks, experts say the financial impact of the legislation on the company and the state is unclear at this point. DeSantis rushed the bill through the statehouse, pushing it through within three days of a special session, but it won’t go into effect until June 2023, giving both sides time to adjust to the new reality.

The law dissolves the Reedy Creek Improvement District, which was created in the 1960s to attract Disney World to the state, after the much smaller Disneyland became a hit theme park in California. For more than half a century, the District has enabled Disney to operate as a county government, providing services such as firefighting, power, water and roads in Orange Counties and Osceola. In turn, Disney can issue bonds with tax advantages to pay for the improvements.

Disney is a major political contributor in the state. During the 2020 election cycle, the company donated a total of $4.8 million, including campaign funds, to more than 100 individual members of the Florida Legislative Assembly, some of whom sponsored the legislation of Thursday, according to state records. It’s unclear whether the state or the company will be harmed the most now that the bill has become law.

Summary of news:

  • Florida governor paraphrases bill stripping Disney of self-governing authority
  • Check out all the news and articles from the latest business news updates.
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Self government

Florida Governor DeSantis signs bill eliminating Disney self-government and certain other special districts

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Florida. –Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has signed a bill that eliminates special districts created before 1968, including Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement District.

The governor signed several bills into law during a ceremony at a South Florida charter school on Friday afternoon, including the special districts bill introduced by Rep. Randy Fine. The Reedy Creek Improvement District – created by state legislators in 1967 – acts as Walt Disney World’s own government with two towns and lands in Orange and Osceola counties.

[TRENDING: WATCH: Mike Tyson caught on video punching man on flight to Florida | READ: Florida shares examples from rejected math textbooks | Become a News 6 Insider (it’s free!)]

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The initial conversation about repealing the Reedy Creek Improvement District began when Disney spoke out against signing the “Parental Rights in Education” bill, dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. As the bill approached DeSantis’ desk earlier in March, multiple protests were held calling on Disney to do what it could to speak out against the legislation and halt its momentum in the Florida legislature.

DeSantis commented on Disney’s action at Friday’s press conference and said that while “none of this happened, it’s the right thing to do,” calling Disney’s government “unlike to everything we know in the state of Florida.”

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“No individual or business in Florida is treated this way, and it’s not fair to have this similar treatment. But you know, they had wielded a lot of power over the years. It was never something that was debated. In fact, I don’t even know if I even knew the name of it before it became something that was live for the past few months,” he said.

According to the wording of the bill, it will dissolve “any independent special district established by special statute prior to the date of ratification of the Constitution of Florida on November 5, 1968, and which has not been reinstated, re-ratified, or otherwise reconstituted by a special law or a general law subsequent to November 5, 1968.

Although the details are far from clear, the proposal could have huge tax implications for Disney. Democratic state lawmakers who oppose the bill have also warned that it could result in hefty tax bills for owners if they had to absorb the costs the company used to pay.

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Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, whose county is partly home to Disney World, said it would be “catastrophic to our budget” if the county had to bear the cost of public safety at the theme park. Reedy Creek is currently reimbursing the Orange County Sheriff’s Office for public safety costs.

Fine said Disney and its Reedy Creek District were not the target of the bill, but Disney “chose to kick the hornet’s nest” leading to this legislation.

Disney could reapply to the legislature for its special district; otherwise, it would disband in June 2023. The measure allows for the reinstatement of the districts, leaving room to renegotiate its future.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando – All Rights Reserved.

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Self government

DeSantis Signs Legislation Dissolving Walt Disney World Self-Government

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law a bill on Friday that dissolves private self-government at Walt Disney World.

The law eliminates the Reedy Creek Improvement District — as the 55-year-old Disney government is known — along with a handful of other similar districts statewide by June 2023.

The measure allows neighborhoods to potentially be reinstated, leaving Disney room to renegotiate its future.

When Florida Republicans took action against Disney’s special ward, some said it created more problems than it solved.

“It could be a very conservative $1 billion,” said Florida Atlantic University professor Sophia Johan.

Johan talks about the cost to taxpayers in two Florida counties of the loss of the Reedy Creek Improvement District, more than $500 per person.

“If you cut their fire and security departments, will the counties take over or will there be significant unemployment?” John said.

That’s because undoing a special district, as they’re called, can be tricky.

There are currently more than 1,800 such districts in Florida, ranging from Disney to The Villages — which has 14 development districts — and smaller districts like the Lake Worth drainage district in Palm Beach County.

“Our job is to drain water from the neighborhood when it’s too wet and to retain water to preserve groundwater levels when it’s too dry,” said Tommy Stroud, executive director of the drainage district of Lake Worth.

The District of Stroud – which has existed for over 100 years – operates by assessing a tax on residents of the southeast county, which pays for the operation of over 500 canals.

This is also how the majority of these districts generally operate in the state, approved by lawmakers to provide a single, highly focused service, unlike Disney which operates as its own small town, making it difficult to disentangle.

“We’re dissolving one that’s extremely active,” Johan said.

Scripps content only 2022

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Self government

Disney self-government in jeopardy after Florida House vote

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — On Thursday, the Florida House of Representatives passed a bill that would dissolve the private government of Walt Disney World, giving Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis a victory in his feud with the entertainment giant over its opposition to a measure which critics have dubbed the ” don’t say gay ” right.

The move could have huge tax implications for Disney, whose series of theme parks have turned Orlando into one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, and serve to make the relationship even worse between the Republican-led government and a major political player in the state. Disney did not return an email seeking comment on Thursday.

For DeSantis, the attack on Disney is his last salvo in a culture war fought over policies involving race, gender and the coronavirus, battles that have made him one of the nation’s most popular GOP politicians and a likely 2024 presidential candidate.

The bill passed by the Legislature Thursday would eliminate the Reedy Creek Improvement District, as the 55-year-old Disney government is known, along with a handful of other similar districts by June 2023. The measure allows districts to be reinstated, leaving an avenue to renegotiate her future. The bill is now transferred to DeSantis’ office for enactment.

The vote ended a bitter three-day special legislative session in which lawmakers were tasked with passing a new map of Congress drawn by DeSantis, but also took up the Disney bill at the governor’s behest. Tensions erupted Thursday as Democrats staged a sit-in protest on the House floor against the map, prompting Republicans to walk out briefly.

Opponents of the new map chanted phrases about black voter suppression as GOP lawmakers returned and passed both bills

“It was clear that our demands and proposed solutions were not going to be heard, so he rushed in,” Democratic Rep. Fentrice Driskell said of Disney’s move.

The dispute with the company began with Disney’s criticism of a new law banning instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity from kindergarten through third grade as well as instruction that is not ” appropriate for age or development”.

In March, Disney announced it would suspend political donations in the state and added that it would in turn support organizations that oppose the new law. DeSantis and his fellow Republicans then lambasted Disney and defended the law as reasonable.

“Disney and other woke corporations will no longer get away with peddling their unchecked pressure campaigns,” DeSantis wrote in a fundraising pitch Wednesday. “If we’re going to hold the Democratic machine and its corporate lackeys accountable, we need to unite now.”

Democrats slammed Disney’s proposal as clear retaliation against the company and warned local landlords could be hit with big tax bills if they were to absorb Disney’s bond debt – though those details are far from clear. clear.

disney is one of Florida’s largest private employers, reporting last year that it had more than 60,000 workers in the state. It is not immediately clear how the company or local governments around its properties would be affected if the district were disbanded.

The creation of the Reedy Creek Improvement District and the control it gave Disney over 27,000 acres (11,000 hectares) in Florida was a crucial element in the company’s construction projects near Orlando in the 1960s. Company officials said they needed autonomy to plan a futuristic city with the theme park. The city never materialized, however; instead, it turned into an Epcot theme park.

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Sovereignty

Florida lawmakers approve bill to dissolve self-governing Disney World

WASHINGTON — In May 2021, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) officially announced the worst year for anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in recent history. At the time, state lawmakers introduced more than 250 bills — from anti-trans sports legislation to religious denial measures — in state houses across the country, 17 of which were signed into law.

Now, LGBTQ+ rights in the states seem to be impacted even more. According to HRC, more than 300 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have surfaced in 36 legislatures. As legislation grows — 41 such measures were introduced in 2018 — the number of bills passed and enshrined in state law is also growing, though LGBTQ+ advocates often challenge the laws in court. .

Legislation overwhelmingly targets trans youth, the organization says, from blocking participation in sports to banning access to gender-affirming healthcare. Lawmakers have also attempted, and in some cases passed, legislation limiting how LGBTQ+ issues can be taught in schools and preventing trans children from using bathrooms that match their gender identity.

“2022 is on track to surpass last year’s record number of anti-transgender bills,” Cathryn Oakley, state legislative director and senior counsel at HRC, told the Blade, calling the “attacks ‘craven, baseless’ legislative action against trans youth and an effort to create more division, sow fear and excite radical right-wing voters at the expense of innocent children.

Supporters of the bills say they must “protect” parental rights, children and religious freedom. However, advocates and LGBTQ+ people continue to denounce the legislation as discriminatory and harmful.

One of the most talked about anti-LGBTQ+ measures this year has been Florida’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law last month. The legislation will ban classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity from kindergarten through grade 3 if it survives legal challenges.

Days after DeSantis signed the bill, the first lawsuit against the measure emerged, arguing that the law “would deny an entire generation that LGBTQ people exist and have equal dignity.”

“This effort to control young minds through state censorship — and to demean LGBTQ lives by denying their reality — is a grave abuse of power,” the lawsuit states.

Since the Republican sponsors successfully pushed the bill through, other states have followed in Florida’s footsteps. Ohio, for example, introduced its version of the legislation about a week after DeSantis signed it.

In Alabama, Republican Gov. Kay Ivey signed an anti-trans restroom bill with a last-minute amendment to stop educators discussing gender identity and sexual orientation in kindergarten through 5th grade. year. Ivey didn’t stop there, also signing a bill that would ban gender-affirming care for minors.

As in Florida, LGBTQ+ advocates were quick to announce legal challenges to the legislation. Some of the most prominent LGBTQ+ and civil rights organizations – including the HRC, GLAD and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) – have announced a legal challenge in federal court against the ban on gender-affirming care in Alabama.

In terms of legislation introduced, Tennessee has significantly outpaced other states, according to LGBTQ+ rights organization Freedom for All Americans. The group’s legislative tracker found more than 30 bills limiting LGBTQ+ rights in the state, including a “Don’t Say Gay” bill and a ban on LGBTQ-themed literature in schools. But, unlike other Republican-controlled states, none have made it out of the state house.

Arizona has also been a hot spot for anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, with at least 17 bills, according to Freedom for All Americans. In March, Republican Gov. Doug Ducey signed two bills limiting the rights of trans people in the state – one banning certain types of medical care for trans youth and the other preventing trans students from participating in school sports consistent with their gender identity.

“Across the country, moderate Republicans are struggling — and too often failing — to prevent dangerous extremists from taking control of their party,” Shannon Minter, legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), told The Blade at the time, adding, “We risk seeing large segments of our nation give way to authoritarian extremism.”

In other states, anti-LGBTQ+ legislation has become law without the support of its governor, Democrat or Republican. In fact, two Republican governors vetoed anti-trans sports bills in late March.

Utah Governor Spencer Cox and Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb, both Republicans, vetoed a law banning trans youth from participating in sports. Cox said the bill had “several fundamental flaws and should be reconsidered,” while Holcomb said the measure was looking for a problem.

Ultimately, however, the Utah House overruled Cox’s veto a few days later. Holcomb’s veto still stands.

“This [Utah] The bill highlights an issue of “fairness” in school sports that simply does not exist – but its negative impacts on the mental health and wellbeing of trans and non-binary youth are very real said Sam Ames, director of advocacy and government affairs at the Trevor Project. “These young people already face disproportionate rates of bullying, depression and risk of suicide, and bills like this will only make matters worse.”

In recent weeks, two Democratic governors have vetoed anti-LGBTQ+ legislation from their Republican-controlled legislatures.

Democratic Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear has vetoed legislation that would ban trans girls from playing on sports teams at Kentucky schools that match their gender identity from sixth grade through college. GOP lawmakers quickly reversed the decision.

“Shame on the Kentucky General Assembly for attacking trans kids today,” said Chris Hartman, executive director of the Equity Campaign. Shame on our Commonwealth lawmakers for passing the first explicitly anti-LGBTQ law in Kentucky in nearly a decade.

Kansas Democratic Governor Laura Kelly last weekend vetoed two anti-LGBTQ+ measures, the “Parents’ Bill of Rights” and “Equity in Women’s Sports” laws.

GOP lawmakers in Idaho decided last month to effectively kill a bill criminalizing gender-affirming care, one of the most extreme proposals in the country. It would have made it a crime – punishable by life in prison – to provide minors with hormones, puberty blockers or gender-affirming surgery.

In a statement, Idaho Senate Republicans said they “strongly” oppose “any sex reassignment and surgical manipulation of the natural sex” on minors. But they also wrote that the controversial legislation “undermines” a parent’s right to make medical decisions for their children.

“We believe in the rights of parents and that the best decisions about medical treatment options for children are made by parents, with the guidance and expertise of their doctor,” the senators wrote.

Texas is one of 14 states without anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, as the state only holds legislative sessions in odd-numbered years. However, the Lone Star State has made headlines for Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s anti-Trans orders.

Abbott in February ordered the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) to investigate reports of gender-affirming care of minors as “child abuse.” The order followed an official notice from state Attorney General Ken Paxton that called the treatment a form of “child abuse” under Texas law.

Since then, two Texas judges have ruled against the policy — one in district court and the other after an appeal. Still, Paxton vows to keep fighting for order in court.

But even as Republican politicians continue to push to limit LGBTQ+ rights, many LGBTQ+ advocates, individuals, and allies vow to continue to fight discriminatory efforts, whether in court or on the streets.

“The Human Rights Campaign strongly condemns these harmful and potentially deadly bills and will continue to use every tool at our disposal to fight for the rights of transgender youth and all LGBTQ+ people,” Oakley said.

In a January 2022 poll by The Trevor Project, an organization that provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ youth under 25, and Morning Consult, more than two-thirds of LGBTQ youth said recent debates over state laws that target transgender people have negatively impacted their mental health.

“These findings underscore how recent politics and ongoing crises around the world can have a real negative impact on LGBTQ youth, a group that is consistently at significantly increased risk for depression, anxiety, and attempted suicide in because of how they are mistreated and stigmatized in society,” Amit Paley, CEO of The Trevor Project, said in a statement.

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Self government

Florida Legislature Votes to Remove Disney Self-Government

TALLAHASSEE, Florida. – The Florida House of Representatives on Thursday gave final passage to a bill that would dissolve the private government of Walt Disney World, giving Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis a victory in his feud with the entertainment giant over its opposition to a as critics have dubbed it “Don’t Say Gay”.

The move could have huge tax implications for Disney, whose series of theme parks have turned Orlando into one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, and serve to make the relationship even worse between the Republican-led government and a major political player in the state.

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For DeSantis, the attack on Disney is his last salvo in a culture war fought on politics such as race, gender and the coronavirus, battles that have made him one of the nation’s most popular GOP politicians and a likely 2024 presidential candidate.

The dispute with Disney involves the company’s criticism of a new law banning teaching about sexual orientation and gender identity from kindergarten through third grade as well as teaching that is not “appropriate to age or development”.

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In March, Disney announced it would suspend political donations in the state and added that it would in turn support organizations that oppose the new law. DeSantis and his fellow Republicans then lambasted Disney and defended the law as reasonable.

“Disney and other woke corporations will no longer get away with peddling their unchecked pressure campaigns,” DeSantis wrote in a fundraising pitch Wednesday. “If we’re going to keep the Democratic machine and its corporate lackeys accountable, we need to unite now.”

Tax collector Scott Randolph said Orange County would also potentially take on $1 billion to $2 billion in bond debt.

The bill passed by the Legislature on Thursday would eliminate the Reedy Creek Improvement District, as the Disney government is known, along with a handful of other similar districts by June 2023. The measure restores the districts, leaving an avenue to renegotiate its future. It is now moving to DeSantis’ office to be signed into law.

Osceola County officials released the following statement in response to the passage of the bill:

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“Now that the Legislature has passed a bill to disband the Reedy Creek Improvement District, the Osceola County government will begin an analysis to understand the impacts in preparation for this coming into effect, including the assessment of any cost changes to Osceola as a result. As Disney and Reedy Creek are self-contained, we do not know what tax liabilities will be burdened after June 2023. Over the years, Disney has been a strong community partner and we expect that relationship to continue as we work together to a transition plan.

Democrats slammed the proposal as clear retaliation against the company and warned local property owners could be hit with big tax bills if they were to absorb Disney’s bond debt – though those details are far from clear.

disney is one of Florida’s largest private employers, reporting last year that it had more than 60,000 workers in the state. It is not immediately clear how the company or local governments around its properties would be affected if the district were disbanded.

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The creation of the Reedy Creek Improvement District and the control it gave Disney over 27,000 acres (11,000 hectares) in Florida was a crucial element in the company’s construction projects near Orlando in the 1960s. Company officials said they needed autonomy to plan a futuristic city with the theme park. The city never materialized, however; instead, it turned into an Epcot theme park.

Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando – All Rights Reserved.

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Self government

Florida lawmakers vote to scrap Disney self-government

(NewsNation) – Florida lawmakers on Thursday gave final passage to a bill that would strip Walt Disney World of its power of self-government, giving Gov. Ron DeSantis a victory in his feud with the entertainment giant.

The move is a new level in DeSantis’ fight with Disney over his opposition to what critics call Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law, which limits how Florida educators can discuss identity. gender and sexual orientation from kindergarten to third grade.

In March, Disney said it would support organizations that oppose the new law and suspend political donations in the state.

DeSantis called a special legislative session on redrawing the state’s congressional maps, adding a last-minute proclamation to end “all special districts that were enacted in Florida prior to 1968,” which includes the Reedy Creek Improvement Districta special tax district that allows Walt Disney World to oversee its property as a quasi-governmental agency.

It allows the company to control permits, firefighting, power generation and road maintenance at their 27,000-acre resort near Orlando.

“It turns out there are hundreds of them (special independent districts) across the state,” said Florida State Senator Tina Polsky, a Democrat who voted against the measure. “So in order to punish Disney, they figured out a way to distinguish the special independent Disney district from the others. And they decided that districts formed before 1968 and not reconstituted could be dissolved.

“There are actually five other special districts,” she said. “You know, they’re not as serious as Disney’s, Reedy Creek Indie Specialty, because it’s so huge.”

The bill would dissolve the special district on June 1, 2023.

The bill passed by the legislature allows the reinstatement of the districts, leaving an opportunity to renegotiate its future

Florida’s House and Senate are both controlled by Republicans. The bill passed the state Senate on Wednesday and is now moving to DeSantis’ office for enactment.

The move could have huge tax implications for Disney, whose series of theme parks have turned Orlando into one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations.

“That means higher taxes,” Dr. Charles Zelden said on Thursday’s “Rush Hour” show.

Zelden is a professor in the Department of Humanities and Political Sciences at Nova Southeastern University and says residents’ pockets will be among the first things affected.

“Now local taxpayers are going to have to pay for this, unlike those who pay fees and buy tickets at Disney,” Zelden said.

According to Polsky, if no action is taken by the legislature next year, these independent special districts will dissolve and they will have to be absorbed into the counties and cities in which they are physically located.

“Part of reabsorbing these areas is that they’re absorbing debt,” Polsky said. “So this could all be passed on to ratepayers in Orange and Osceola counties. So that’s the concern. »

A Republican state senator told NewsNation that removing Disney’s mini-government could increase property taxes for property owners near Disney by 15-20%.

“That’s why fast-tracking or delaying 12 months,” said State Senator Manny Díaz, a Republican.

Democrats slammed the proposal as clear retaliation against the company and warned local property owners could be hit with big tax bills if they were to absorb Disney’s bond debt – though those details are far from clear.

“Reedy Creek’s debt service alone is over $1 billion,” said State Sen. Gary Farmer, a Democrat. “This bill does not contain any provision on how this debt service will be met.”

“I call it revenge governance,” Polsky said.

But not all Florida politicians are opposed to DeSantis’ decision. State Sen. Manny Diaz Jr. told “NewsNation Prime” on Thursday that it was not a dig at Disney.

“I think what’s going on, like Governor DeSantis said, we shouldn’t be giving special privileges to private citizens,” Diaz Jr. said.

Disney is one of Florida’s largest private employers, saying last year it had more than 60,000 workers in the state. It is not immediately clear how the company or local governments around its properties would be affected if the district were disbanded.

The creation of the Reedy Creek Improvement District and the control it gave Disney of 27,000 acres in Florida was a crucial element in the company’s construction projects near Orlando in the 1960s.

Company officials said they needed autonomy to plan a futuristic city with the theme park. The city never materialized, however; instead, it turned into an Epcot theme park.

Disney has yet to comment on the vote.

The Hill and Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Sovereignty

Florida passes bill to end Disney self-government in the state

The Florida House of Representatives on Thursday passed a bill that would dissolve the private government of Walt Disney World, giving Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis a victory in his row with the entertainment giant over its opposition to a measure that critics have nicknamed the “Don”. “don’t say gay” law.

The move could have huge tax implications for Disney, whose string of theme parks has transformed Orlando into one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations over the decades, and serves to further sour relations between the government-run by Republicans and a major political player in the state.

For DeSantis, the attack on Disney is his latest salvo in a culture war waged against politics involving race, gender and the coronavirus, battles that have made him one of the nation’s most popular GOP politicians and a likely 2024 presidential candidate.

The dispute with Disney began with the company’s criticism of a new law banning teaching about sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade as well as teaching that is not ” appropriate for age or development”.

“Business awakening”

In March, Disney announced it would suspend political donations in the state and added that it would in turn support organizations that oppose the new law. DeSantis and his fellow Republicans then lambasted Disney and defended the law as reasonable.

“Disney and other woke corporations will no longer get away with peddling their unchecked pressure campaigns,” DeSantis wrote during a fundraising pitch Wednesday. “If we want the Democratic machine and its corporate lackeys to be held to account, we need to stick together now.”

The bill passed by the Legislature on Thursday would eliminate the Reedy Creek Improvement District, as the Disney government is known, along with a handful of other similar districts by June 2023. The measure leaves room for the restoration of districts, with a Republican legislative leader signaling a likely restructuring of a 1967 deal lawmakers reached with the company that allows it to provide services such as zoning, fire protection, utilities and infrastructure .

Democrats have warned the move could result in hefty tax bills for local property owners if they were to absorb Disney bond debt — though those details are far from clear.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, pictured here in February 2022 in Miami, pushed for passage of the bill. (Marta Lavandier/Associated Press)

“Punitive and petulant political return”

Democrats, the minority party in the Florida legislature, opposed the proposal as a clear retaliation against a company that has been a major economic driver in the state.

“Let’s call it what it is: it’s a petulant, punishing political comeback from a company that dared to say the Emperor has no clothes, but if they perform well in the next election cycle, may -maybe we’ll put it back in place,” the senator said. Gary M. Farmer, a Democrat.

Disney did not return an email seeking comment. The company is one of Florida’s largest private employers and last year said it had more than 60,000 workers in the state. It’s not immediately clear how Disney or neighboring governments would be affected if the district were disbanded.

The creation of the Reedy Creek Improvement District, and the control it gave Disney over 11,000 acres in Florida, was a crucial element in the company’s construction projects near Orlando in the 1960s. of the company said they needed autonomy to plan a futuristic city with the theme park. The city never materialized, however; instead, it turned into an Epcot theme park.

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Sovereignty

Disney self-government in jeopardy after Florida House vote | Florida News

By ANTHONY IZAGUIRRE, Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida House of Representatives on Thursday gave final passage to a bill that would dissolve the private government of Walt Disney World, giving Republican Governor Ron DeSantis a victory in his feud with the giant. Entertainment for opposing a measure that critics have dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” law.

The move could have huge tax implications for Disney, whose string of theme parks has turned Orlando into one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, and serves to further sour relations between the Republican-led government and a major political actor in the state. Disney did not return an email seeking comment on Thursday.

For DeSantis, the attack on Disney is his latest salvo in a culture war waged against politics involving race, gender and the coronavirus, battles that have made him one of the nation’s most popular GOP politicians and a likely 2024 presidential candidate.

The bill passed by the Legislature Thursday would eliminate the Reedy Creek Improvement District, as the 55-year-old Disney government is known, along with a handful of other similar districts by June 2023. The measure allows districts to be reinstated, leaving an avenue to renegotiate her future. The bill is now transferred to DeSantis’ office for enactment.

political cartoons

The vote ended a bitter three-day special legislative session in which lawmakers were tasked with passing a new map of Congress drawn by DeSantis, but also took up the Disney bill at the governor’s behest. Tensions erupted Thursday as Democrats staged a sit-in protest on the House floor against the map, prompting Republicans to walk out briefly.

Opponents of the new map chanted phrases about black voter suppression as GOP lawmakers returned and passed both bills

“It was clear that our demands and proposed solutions were not going to be heard, so he rushed in,” Democratic Rep. Fentrice Driskell said of Disney’s move.

The dispute with the company began with Disney’s criticism of a new law banning instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity from kindergarten through third grade as well as instruction that is not ” appropriate for age or development”.

In March, Disney announced it would suspend political donations in the state and added that it would in turn support organizations that oppose the new law. DeSantis and his fellow Republicans then lambasted Disney and defended the law as reasonable.

“Disney and other woke corporations will no longer get away with peddling their unchecked pressure campaigns,” DeSantis wrote in a fundraising pitch Wednesday. “If we’re going to hold the Democratic machine and its corporate lackeys accountable, we need to unite now.”

Democrats slammed Disney’s proposal as clear retaliation against the company and warned local landlords could be hit with big tax bills if they were to absorb Disney’s bond debt – though those details are far from clear. clear.

Disney is one of Florida’s largest private employers, saying last year it had more than 60,000 workers in the state. It is not immediately clear how the company or local governments around its properties would be affected if the district were disbanded.

The creation of the Reedy Creek Improvement District and the control it gave Disney over 27,000 acres (11,000 hectares) in Florida was a crucial element in the company’s construction projects near Orlando in the 1960s. Company officials said they needed autonomy to plan a futuristic city with the theme park. The city never materialized, however; instead, it turned into an Epcot theme park.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Sovereignty

Disney self-government in jeopardy after Florida House vote | National and world news

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — On Thursday, the Florida House of Representatives passed a bill that would dissolve the private government of Walt Disney World, giving Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis a victory in his feud with the entertainment giant over its opposition to a measure which critics have dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” law.

The move could have huge tax implications for Disney, whose string of theme parks has turned Orlando into one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, and serves to further sour relations between the Republican-led government and a major political actor in the state. Disney did not return an email seeking comment on Thursday.

For DeSantis, the attack on Disney is his latest salvo in a culture war waged against politics involving race, gender and the coronavirus, battles that have made him one of the nation’s most popular GOP politicians and a likely 2024 presidential candidate.

The bill passed by the Legislature Thursday would eliminate the Reedy Creek Improvement District, as the 55-year-old Disney government is known, along with a handful of other similar districts by June 2023. The measure allows districts to be reinstated, leaving an avenue to renegotiate her future. The bill is now transferred to DeSantis’ office for enactment.

The vote ended a bitter three-day special legislative session in which lawmakers were tasked with passing a new map of Congress drawn by DeSantis, but also took up the Disney bill at the governor’s behest. Tensions erupted Thursday as Democrats staged a sit-in protest on the House floor against the map, prompting Republicans to walk out briefly.

Opponents of the new map chanted phrases about black voter suppression as GOP lawmakers returned and passed both bills

“It was clear that our demands and proposed solutions were not going to be heard, so he rushed in,” Democratic Rep. Fentrice Driskell said of Disney’s move.

The dispute with the company began with Disney’s criticism of a new law banning instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity from kindergarten through third grade as well as instruction that is not ” appropriate for age or development”.

In March, Disney announced it would suspend political donations in the state and added that it would in turn support organizations that oppose the new law. DeSantis and his fellow Republicans then lambasted Disney and defended the law as reasonable.

“Disney and other woke corporations will no longer get away with peddling their unchecked pressure campaigns,” DeSantis wrote in a fundraising pitch Wednesday. “If we’re going to keep the Democratic machine and its corporate lackeys accountable, we need to unite now.”


TV ad invokes the devil, the Joker as Russell Fry lambastes GOP opponent Tom Rice as a

Democrats slammed Disney’s proposal as clear retaliation against the company and warned local landlords could be hit with big tax bills if they were to absorb Disney’s bond debt – though those details are far from clear. clear.

Disney is one of Florida’s largest private employers, saying last year it had more than 60,000 workers in the state. It is not immediately clear how the company or local governments around its properties would be affected if the district were disbanded.

The creation of the Reedy Creek Improvement District and the control it gave Disney over 27,000 acres (11,000 hectares) in Florida was a crucial element in the company’s construction projects near Orlando in the 1960s. Company officials said they needed autonomy to plan a futuristic city with the theme park. The city never materialized, however; instead, it turned into an Epcot theme park.

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Self government

Florida Legislature Votes To Strip Disney Of Self-Government After Opposition To ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida House of Representatives on Thursday gave final passage to a bill that would dissolve the private government of Walt Disney World, giving Republican Governor Ron DeSantis a victory in his feud with the giant. Entertainment for opposing a measure that critics have dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” law.

The move could have huge tax implications for Disney, whose string of theme parks has turned Orlando into one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, and serves to further sour relations between the Republican-led government and a major political actor in the state.

For DeSantis, the attack on Disney is his latest salvo in a culture war waged against policies such as race, gender and the coronavirus, battles that have made him one of the most popular GOP politicians in the country. and a likely 2024 presidential candidate.

The dispute with Disney involves the company’s criticism of a new law banning teaching about sexual orientation and gender identity from kindergarten through third grade as well as teaching that is not “appropriate to age or development”.

In March, Disney announced it would suspend political donations in the state and added that it would in turn support organizations that oppose the new law. DeSantis and his fellow Republicans then lambasted Disney and defended the law as reasonable.

“Disney and other woke corporations will no longer get away with peddling their unchecked pressure campaigns,” DeSantis wrote in a fundraising pitch Wednesday. “If we’re going to keep the Democratic machine and its corporate lackeys accountable, we need to unite now.”

The bill passed by the Legislature on Thursday would eliminate the Reedy Creek Improvement District, as the Disney government is known, along with a handful of other similar districts by June 2023. The measure restores the districts, leaving an avenue to renegotiate its future. It is now moving to DeSantis’ office to be signed into law.

Democrats slammed the proposal as clear retaliation against the company and warned local property owners could be hit with big tax bills if they were to absorb Disney’s bond debt – though those details are far from clear.

Disney is one of Florida’s largest private employers, saying last year it had more than 60,000 workers in the state. It is not immediately clear how the company or local governments around its properties would be affected if the district were disbanded.

The creation of the Reedy Creek Improvement District and the control it gave Disney over 27,000 acres (11,000 hectares) in Florida was a crucial element in the company’s construction projects near Orlando in the 1960s. Company officials said they needed autonomy to plan a futuristic city with the theme park. The city never materialized, however; instead, it turned into an Epcot theme park.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida House of Representatives on Thursday gave final passage to a bill that would dissolve the private government of Walt Disney World, giving Republican Governor Ron DeSantis a victory in his feud with the giant. entertainment for opposing a measure that critics have dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” law.

The move could have huge tax implications for Disney, whose string of theme parks has turned Orlando into one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, and serves to further sour relations between the Republican-led government and a major political actor in the state. Disney did not return an email seeking comment on Thursday.

For DeSantis, the attack on Disney is his latest salvo in a culture war waged against politics involving race, gender and the coronavirus, battles that have made him one of the nation’s most popular GOP politicians and a likely 2024 presidential candidate.

The bill passed by the Legislature Thursday would eliminate the Reedy Creek Improvement District, as the 55-year-old Disney government is known, along with a handful of other similar districts by June 2023. The measure allows districts to be reinstated, leaving an avenue to renegotiate her future. The bill is now transferred to DeSantis’ office for enactment.

The vote ended a bitter three-day special legislative session in which lawmakers were tasked with passing a new map of Congress drawn by DeSantis, but also took up the Disney bill at the governor’s behest. Tensions erupted Thursday as Democrats staged a sit-in protest on the House floor against the map, prompting Republicans to walk out briefly.

READ MORE: Florida governor signs law banning abortion after 15 weeks

Opponents of the new map chanted phrases about black voter suppression as GOP lawmakers returned and passed both bills

“It was clear that our demands and proposed solutions were not going to be heard, so he rushed in,” Democratic Rep. Fentrice Driskell said of Disney’s move.

The dispute with the company began with Disney’s criticism of a new law banning instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity from kindergarten through third grade as well as instruction that is not ” appropriate for age or development”.

In March, Disney announced it would suspend political donations in the state and added that it would in turn support organizations that oppose the new law. DeSantis and his fellow Republicans then lambasted Disney and defended the law as reasonable.

“Disney and other woke corporations will no longer get away with peddling their unchecked pressure campaigns,” DeSantis wrote in a fundraising pitch Wednesday. “If we’re going to keep the Democratic machine and its corporate lackeys accountable, we need to unite now.”

Democrats slammed Disney’s proposal as clear retaliation against the company and warned local landlords could be hit with big tax bills if they were to absorb Disney’s bond debt – though those details are far from clear. clear.

Disney is one of Florida’s largest private employers, saying last year it had more than 60,000 workers in the state. It is not immediately clear how the company or local governments around its properties would be affected if the district were disbanded.

The creation of the Reedy Creek Improvement District and the control it gave Disney over 27,000 acres (11,000 hectares) in Florida was a crucial element in the company’s construction projects near Orlando in the 1960s. Company officials said they needed autonomy to plan a futuristic city with the theme park. The city never materialized, however; instead, it turned into an Epcot theme park.

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Self government

Florida Senate Strips Disney of Self-Government Over ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Critics

The Florida Senate voted on Wednesday strip the Walt Disney Company of special privileges in regulating and maintaining 38 square miles of central Florida, home to its six theme parks and resorts.

The 23-16 vote on SB 4 came a day after Governor Ron DeSantis said he wants the Legislature to repeal the governance structure for Disney properties in Florida.

The entertainment giant was caught up in the election-year culture war when its CEO pledged to work to repeal the Parental Rights in Education Act – which opponents decried as the “Don’t don’t say gay.

As lawmakers debated the measure, the DeSantis campaign for governor sent in a fundraising pitch stating that Disney had chosen to fight “the wrong guy” and for contributors to “join the fight against corruption.” democratic machine and awaken the leaders of Disney”.

Democrats protested Republicans’ rush to punish the state’s largest private employer for political speech that degraded the legislative process.

“With all due respect, this is not a meaningful legislative review. It’s a punishment. This is political theater, and we are better than that,” said Sen. Loranne Ausley, D-Tallahassee.

DeSantis vs. Disney:

Sen. Jennifer Bradley’s R-Green Cove measure includes a carrot-and-stick approach in that it won’t go into effect until June 2023, enough time for Disney, in the words of the sponsor. of the House, Rep. Randy Fine, R-Brevard, to reconsider his criticism of the Florida law.

“It’s a bit like parents imposing restrictions on their children. Clean up your act, apologize, say you’re sorry, and agree to change your behavior. Maybe you’ll get your phone or other privileges back” , observed Ausley.

At issue is the Reedy Creek Improvement District, a special district established in 1967 that provides Disney with unprecedented tax and regulatory authority to build an entertainment empire that has become the world’s number one tourist attraction.

The House and Senate repeal sponsors argue that Disney is not in compliance with a 1997 law that required districts to seek recodification. Disney would have a year to put its paperwork in order and ask the legislature to reauthorize Reedy Creek.

‘I let you down’:Disney CEO apologizes for response to ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill

DeSantis vs. Disney:DeSantis Says He’ll Sign So-called ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill Soon, Criticizes Disney Again

The GOP follows suit:Fetterhoff and Barnaby return contributions to Disney for ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill

“Everyone in this room knows it’s not going to happen”

Sen. Jason Pizzo, D-Fort Lauderdale, complained during the debate that the Legislative Assembly was wasting everyone’s time.

If Reedy Creek were dissolved, he pointed out, Orange and Osceola counties would have to shoulder more than $1 billion in debt and be responsible for maintaining a network of roads and facilities. wastewater treatment plant, as well as a 3,000-member fire and paramedic team.

“Everyone in this room knows that’s not going to happen,” Pizzo said of saddled two counties with billions in debt.

Pizzo told Bradley he was sorry she had to “do some penance” for voting no against “Don’t Say Gay” by sponsoring Disney’s repeal measure.

Addressing the Republican majority, he said they struggled to explain to people what lawmakers are doing in Tallahassee: “When we’re here for special sessions, we get spoon-fed bills that none of you didn’t write, that neither of you had any input on, then have to pass.

Bradley responded that the Legislature will make sure the “parade of horribles” described by Democrats does not happen.

Senate Speaker Wilton Simpson said Disney and the state will take a “deep dive” over the next year to prepare for the dissolution of Reedy Creek.

“The folks at Disney are going to get their legal team together. They’re going to meet with our legal team, the House, the Senate, and the governor’s office. We’re going to get the teams together to start coming up with a plan,” Simpson said.

Rep. Spencer Roach, R-Fort Myers, has lobbied to review the Reedy Creek layout because he believes it gives Disney an unfair advantage over other theme parks.

“I have a theme park in my district. It’s the oldest and oldest tourist amusement center in southwest Florida, called Shell Factory. They would like to have their own government, but that’s not It’s not,” Roach said, portraying the battle as one between a “cockroach and a mouse.”

The House accepted the Senate bill on Wednesday afternoon, and Speaker Chris Sprows said the chambers would consider it Thursday morning.

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Self government

Florida Senate passes bill to end Disney self-government – ​​Winnipeg Free Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida Senate on Wednesday passed a bill to repeal a law allowing Walt Disney World to run private government on its properties in the state, escalating a feud with the entertainment giant over for his opposition to what critics call the “Don’t Say Gay” law.

The proposal could have huge tax implications for Disney, whose series of theme parks has transformed Orlando into one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations over the decades. And Democrats have warned that the move could result in hefty tax bills for local property owners if they were to absorb Disney bond debt — though those details are far from clear.

The measures, pushed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, come as the governor tussles with Disney over the company’s criticism of a new GOP law banning instruction about the woman’s sexual orientation and gender identity. Kindergarten to Grade 3 and instruction that is not “age appropriate”. or appropriate for development.

FILE – The newly painted Cinderella’s Castle at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom is seen with the crest to celebrate the theme park’s 50th anniversary Monday, August 30, 2021 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. The idea was pitched to Florida lawmakers 55 years ago: Let Disney form its own government and in exchange, it would create a futuristic city of tomorrow. This city never materialized, but Walt Disney World became an economic juggernaut and its government retained unprecedented powers. Five decades later, Governor Ron DeSantis is asking lawmakers to end the government of Disney in a move that throws a spanner in decades of symbiotic relationship between the company and the state government. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)

The bill would eliminate the Reedy Creek Improvement District, as the Disney government is known, along with a handful of other similar districts by June 2023. The measure leaves room for reinstating districts, a legislative leader Republican signaling likely restructuring. from a 1967 agreement lawmakers reached with the company that allows it to provide services such as zoning, fire protection, utilities and infrastructure.

“By doing it so soon, we have until next June or July for this, so we’re giving ourselves more time to think,” Republican Senate Speaker Wilton Simpson told reporters after the vote. “I don’t know how the end will come, but I know it’s a very worthwhile process that we’re taking and I think whatever comes out of it will be better than what we have today.”

Yet the move represents the latest blow to a culture war being waged by DeSantis as he runs for re-election and strengthens himself as a potential 2024 GOP presidential candidate thanks to fierce opposition to liberal policies on race. , sex and abortion.

FILE – The newly painted Cinderella’s Castle at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom is seen with the crest to celebrate the theme park’s 50th anniversary Monday, August 30, 2021 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. The idea was pitched to Florida lawmakers 55 years ago: Let Disney form its own government and in exchange, it would create a futuristic city of tomorrow. This city never materialized, but Walt Disney World became an economic juggernaut and its government retained unprecedented powers. Five decades later, Governor Ron DeSantis is asking lawmakers to end the government of Disney in a move that throws a spanner in decades of symbiotic relationship between the company and the state government. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)

“If Disney wants to fight, they picked the wrong guy,” DeSantis wrote in a fundraising email Wednesday. “As governor, I was elected to put the people of Florida first, and I will not allow an awakened California-based corporation to run our state.”

Democrats, the minority party in the Legislature, opposed the proposal as a clear retaliation against a company that has been a major economic driver in the state.

“Let’s call it that, it’s a punishing, petulant political comeback from a company that dared to say the Emperor has no clothes, but if they perform well in the next election cycle, maybe that we will put it back together,” Sen said. Gary M. Farmer, a Democrat.

Rep. Kristen Aston Arrington, D-Kissimmee, asks Rep. Randy Fine, R-Palm Bay, a question about his Bill 3-C: Independent Special Districts in the House of Representatives Wednesday, April 20, 2022, at the Tallahassee Capitol , Florida. A companion bill, which could dissolve Disney’s Special District, has passed the Senate and the House is due to vote on it Thursday. (AP Photo/Phil Sears)

Disney did not return an email seeking comment. The company is one of Florida’s largest private employers and last year said it had more than 60,000 workers in the state. It’s not immediately clear how Disney or neighboring governments would be affected if the district were disbanded.

The push to punish Disney came after it announced it would suspend political donations in the state and said it was committed to supporting organizations that oppose the state’s new law limiting orientation or gender identification in the classroom.

DeSantis and other Republicans have lambasted Disney and other critics of the law, arguing that the policy is reasonable and that parents, not teachers, should raise these topics with children.

The creation of the Reedy Creek Improvement District and the control it gave Disney over 27,000 acres (11,000 hectares) in Florida was a crucial element in the company’s construction projects near Orlando in the 1960s. Company officials said they needed autonomy to plan a futuristic city with the theme park. The city never materialized, however; instead, it turned into an Epcot theme park.

The Florida House of Representatives is expected to consider the bill Thursday.

___

Associated Press writer Brendan Farrington contributed to this report

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Home rule

Beach mayors cite threat of erosion of autonomy | Beaches

MADEIRA BEACH — The state legislature is eroding the self-governing powers of beach communities in Pinellas County as they deal with the effects of short-term rentals in their neighborhoods.

That was the consensus of six beach mayors as they gathered April 14 for a “State of the Beaches” town hall, presented by the Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions at St. Petersburg College.

The self-rule dispute with Tallahassee was one of many issues the mayors were united on, including dealing with the effects of red tide and tidal flooding and residents’ complaints about ongoing development.

Redington Beach Mayor David Will noted that his town is all-residential and “transient tenancy is a hot issue” in his community.

Problematic transient rentals are often owned by people from out of state, St. Pete Beach Mayor Al Johnson said, adding that the lack of a rule of origin is “ruining a person’s quality of life.” out-of-town investor.

Tyler Payne, Mayor of Treasure Island, said towns in Pinellas County were suffering from the erosion of the domestic regime because the state felt it had to step in and deal with problems caused by municipalities and counties in the south Florida.

Madeira Beach Mayor John Hendricks echoed the sentiment of other mayors when he said there was so much to do; he wanted residents to realize that if cities don’t generate revenue through managed growth, tourism, business and development, the only other way is to raise ad valorem taxes.

“We need to generate revenue, some people have moved to heaven and kind of expect us to lift the drawbridge and not let anyone else in,” he said. One of the main concerns is traffic in a tourist area. “People who moved here expected traffic not to move to the wrong area,” he added.

“It’s a balancing act,” Johnson said, “between being a Gulf Coast beach town and an internationally renowned tourist destination.”

Payne said his city is keeping an open mind toward development, “because that’s how we’re going to increase the tax base, so residents don’t carry the burden of funding services, but we don’t have to be like Clearwater”.

The mayors agreed that much of their capital budget was spent on infrastructure needs, improving stormwater systems and adding expensive equipment to prevent tidal flooding.

Payne and Gulfport Mayor Samuel Henderson noted they were installing living shorelines, rather than expensive seawalls, to help control flooding from storm surges, while Redington Beach and St. Pete Beach were busy installing control values ​​and deflector boxes in their sewer system to stop tidal flooding. to come to the streets.

Johnson said his city is taking a different approach to stormwater and sunny day flooding caused by high tides by “focusing on saltwater protection.” The city is upgrading its drainage systems with baffle boxes and control values. Redington Beach is currently beginning much the same process to control tidal flooding as St. Pete Beach.

While beach towns would love to see another Army Corps of Engineers renovation project, a big problem at Madeira Beach is tidal silt and sand flowing into Johns Pass and Blind Pass, clogging the waterway and undermining the attraction of the city promenade. Mayor Hendricks explained that Johns Pass was so banked that storm waves and sand were dragging under the Johns Pass boardwalk.

Redington Shores Mayor Marybeth Henderson echoed another issue affecting all beaches is “red tide and how are we going to deal with it”. She noted that with rising property values, cities don’t have to increase their mileage rates, but added that she wasn’t sure how long that might continue.

Madeira Beach Mayor Hendricks noted that, more than hurricanes, he’s worried about dealing with red tide and COVID-19 because “we’re a tourist destination.” He noted that visitor parking on Madeira Beach represents about $2 million in revenue for his city.

The mayor of Madeira Beach said another issue is the misinformation some people have been spreading about a developer’s attempt to build a seven-story hotel that would include two health care facilities. Often residents oppose development projects that add taxpayer money to city coffers, he said.

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Sovereignty

Explained: DeSantis’ efforts to end Disney’s self-government power

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (right) is trying to strip Walt Disney World, ‘the most magical place on earth’, of its power of self-government amid an ongoing battle with top sources of state revenue.

DeSantis announced Tuesday that he would call a special legislative session to end “all special districts that were enacted in Florida prior to 1968,” including the Reedy Creek Improvement District, a special tax district that allows Walt Disney World to oversee its ownership as a quasi-governmental agency.

The move is a new level in DeSantis’ fight against the tourism giant over Disney’s opposition to what critics call Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law, which limits how Florida educators can discuss gender identity and sexual orientation from kindergarten to third grade.

Why did Florida give special status to Disney?

Disney has been self-governing for over 50 years. In 1967, the Florida State Legislature created the Reedy Creek Improvement District (RCID) which acts with the same authority and responsibility as a county government.

According to historical records, the government created two municipalities within the RCID – Bay Lake and Reedy Creek, later named Lake Buena Vista – nestled between Orange and Osceola counties.

Since Walt Disney World is the primary landowner of RCID, it is solely responsible for paying the cost of providing municipal services such as power, water, roads, and fire protection. Walt Disney pushed for the creation of this neighborhood because the closest power and water lines were 10 to 15 miles away.

With this special status, Disney was able to construct roads and buildings and provide services without seeking permission from a county government. Residents of Orange and Osceola counties do not pay taxes for these services unless they are residents of the district.

How does the government dissolve a special district?

DeSantis asserted in his proclamation that the Florida Constitution “prohibits special laws granting privileges to private corporations” and that “it is necessary to review these special independent districts to ensure that they properly serve the public interest.” .

State Representative Randy Fine (R) submitted a bill to the House and State Senator Jennifer Bradley (R) submitted a bill to the Florida Senate, which passed Wednesday. The bill would dissolve the RCID and five other special districts that have not been recodified by the legislature as required by law.

According to the bill, districts would be dissolved effective June 1, 2023. However, they could reapply to be recognized as a special district again.

“Disney is invited to Florida”, Fine tweeted tuesday, claiming that Disney is exempt from the laws that ordinary Floridians face. “Today we remind them.”

But dissolving the RCID may not be so easy. According to state law, once the Senate and House pass the bill with the governor’s signature, the majority of owners in the district must vote to disband the district, and since most residents of RCID are employed by Disney, this scenario would be unlikely.

Terry Lewis, a lawyer specializing in special district law, told WFTV Channel 9 that Disney could not use this legal basis because there had never been a referendum to create RCID.

“They’re doing this because the governor has a glass jaw and unfortunately the members of the legislature who represent the majority, they give in to him having a very public and costly tantrum,” the state representative said. Mike Grieco (D). Hill in an interview.

What would happen if Reedy Creek was disbanded?

Democrats fear that if DeSantis succeeds in removing Disney’s special status, taxpayers in Orange and Osceola counties will be held liable for a huge debt.

According to RCID’s annual financial report for 2021, it carries a debt of nearly $1 billion. As required by Florida law, all of this debt would be borne by Orange and Osceola counties.

“So it’s not guesswork, it’s not conjecture, it’s Florida law that says these 1.7 million people are going to have to pick up this bill,” the chief said. of the minority in the Senate, Gary Farmer (D).

According to Farmer’s estimates, each family in Orange and Osceola Counties would likely pay more than $2,200 if the counties assumed the debt.

Taxpayers would also become liable for items that Disney currently pays for, such as road improvements and other mandatory utilities. Battles between taxpayers and county governments would become more likely, such as the outrage seen when Orange County approved a controversial $125 million road deal with Universal Studios of Orlando.

“If they take Reedy Creek out, that responsibility will go to a government,” Sen. Linda Stewart (D) told the Orlando Sentinel. “And the government will not be reimbursed for what it has to pick up and take care of.”

Orange County Comptroller Phil Diamond told Florida’s News 6 they are monitoring the situation because it will have a “very significant impact” on ratepayers.

Why now?

DeSantis said Disney was “alienating a lot of people” over its opposition to the so-called Don’t Say Gay Act, after Disney CEO Bob Chapek announced the company would suspend political donations.

Chapek received backlash from his employees for not immediately criticizing the bill when it was first introduced, with some walkouts.

“It’s clear that this is not just an issue with a bill in Florida, but rather another challenge to basic human rights.” You needed me to be a stronger ally in the fight for equal rights and I let you down,” Chapek said. “I am sorry.”

Besides the battle between Chapek and DeSantis, Democratic State Rep. Grieco accused Republicans of doing it now because they’re trying to distract critics from the newly drawn map of Congress.

DeSantis initially called for the special legislative session to approve his map of Congress – adopted by the Senate on Wednesday – which has been denounced by black lawmakers as “openly racist” because it would reduce the number of precincts where black voters are a plurality .

“They are blatantly trying to eliminate two or more black representative districts,” Grieco said. “They were getting so much bullshit for it, wiped out, so – these guys aren’t stupid – it’s deviation.”

But Republicans are defending the measure as a move to resist Disney’s “wake-up call.”

“Look, there are political differences, and that’s okay,” DeSantis said on Fox News. “But when you try to impose a woke ideology on our state, we see that as a significant threat.”

“Disgracefully, Disney has betrayed us, and the company Walt Disney created – which was a beacon of family values ​​- has now been perverted by a woke mob of liberal extremists into a laboratory for social experimentation on gender identity. ” Rep. Jackie Toledo (R) said.

But Disney historian and author Aaron Goldberg doesn’t think Republicans’ criticism of Disney will stop people from going there, including those who agree with the “Don’t Say Gay” law.

“Think about your average regular family — Walt Disney World and Disneyland is a rite of passage,” Goldberg said. “I really think Disney is the biggest purveyor of nostalgia in the world and that’s how they suck you in.”

The Hill has reached out to Disney’s legal team for additional comment.

Updated at 4:03 p.m.

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Self government

Florida Senate Passes Bill to End Disney Self-Government – Twin Cities

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Florida Senate on Wednesday passed a bill to repeal a law allowing Walt Disney World to operate private government on its properties in the state, escalating a feud with the entertainment giant over its opposition to what critics call the “Don’t Say Gay” law.

The proposal could have huge tax implications for Disney, whose series of theme parks has transformed Orlando into one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations over the decades. And Democrats have warned that the move could result in hefty tax bills for local property owners if they were to absorb Disney bond debt — though those details are far from clear.

The measures, pushed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, come as the governor tussles with Disney over the company’s criticism of a new GOP law banning instruction about the woman’s sexual orientation and gender identity. Kindergarten to Grade 3 and instruction that is not “age appropriate”. or appropriate for development.

The bill would eliminate the Reedy Creek Improvement District, as the Disney government is known, along with a handful of other similar districts by June 2023. The measure leaves room for reinstating districts, a legislative leader Republican signaling likely restructuring. from a 1967 agreement lawmakers reached with the company that allows it to provide services such as zoning, fire protection, utilities and infrastructure.

“By doing it so soon, we have until next June or July for this, so we’re giving ourselves more time to think,” Republican Senate Speaker Wilton Simpson told reporters after the vote. “I don’t know how the end will come, but I know it’s a very worthwhile process that we’re taking and I think whatever comes out of it will be better than what we have today.”

Yet the move represents the latest blow to a culture war being waged by DeSantis as he runs for re-election and strengthens himself as a potential 2024 GOP presidential candidate thanks to fierce opposition to liberal policies on race. , sex and abortion.

“If Disney wants to fight, they picked the wrong guy,” DeSantis wrote in a fundraising email Wednesday. “As governor, I was elected to put the people of Florida first, and I will not allow an awakened California-based corporation to run our state.”

Democrats, the minority party in the Legislature, opposed the proposal as a clear retaliation against a company that has been a major economic driver in the state.

“Let’s call it that, it’s a punishing and petulant political comeback from a company that dared to say the Emperor had no clothes, but if they perform well in the next election cycle, maybe that we will put it back together,” Sen said. Gary M. Farmer, a Democrat.

Disney did not return an email seeking comment. The company is one of Florida’s largest private employers and last year said it had more than 60,000 workers in the state. It’s not immediately clear how Disney or neighboring governments would be affected if the district were disbanded.

The push to punish Disney came after it announced it would suspend political donations in the state and said it was committed to supporting organizations working to oppose the state’s new law limiting the sexual orientation or gender identification in classrooms.

DeSantis and other Republicans have lambasted Disney and other critics of the law, arguing that the policy is reasonable and that parents, not teachers, should raise these topics with children.

The creation of the Reedy Creek Improvement District and the control it gave Disney over 27,000 acres (11,000 hectares) in Florida was a crucial element in the company’s construction projects near Orlando in the 1960s. Company officials said they needed autonomy to plan a futuristic city with the theme park. The city never materialized, however; instead, it turned into an Epcot theme park.

The Florida House of Representatives is expected to consider the bill Thursday.

___

Associated Press writer Brendan Farrington contributed to this report

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Self government

Florida Senate passes bill to end Disney self-government

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida Senate on Wednesday passed a bill to repeal a law allowing Walt Disney World to operate a private government on its properties in the stateescalating a row with the entertainment giant over its opposition to what critics are calling the “ don’t say gay ” right.

The proposal could have huge tax implications for Disney, whose series of theme parks has transformed Orlando into one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations over the decades. And Democrats have warned that the move could result in hefty tax bills for local property owners if they were to absorb Disney bond debt — though those details are far from clear.

The measures, pushed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, come as the governor tussles with Disney over the company’s criticism of a new GOP law banning instruction about the woman’s sexual orientation and gender identity. Kindergarten to Grade 3 and instruction that is not “age appropriate”. or appropriate for development.

The bill would eliminate the Reedy Creek Improvement District, as the Disney government is known, along with a handful of other similar districts by June 2023. The measure leaves room for reinstating districts, a legislative leader Republican signaling likely restructuring. from a 1967 agreement lawmakers reached with the company that allows it to provide services such as zoning, fire protection, utilities and infrastructure.

“By doing it so soon, we have until next June or July for this, so we’re giving ourselves more time to think,” Republican Senate Speaker Wilton Simpson told reporters after the vote. “I don’t know how the end will come, but I know it’s a very worthwhile process that we’re taking and I think whatever comes out of it will be better than what we have today.”

Yet the move represents the latest blow to a culture war being waged by DeSantis as he runs for re-election and strengthens himself as a potential 2024 GOP presidential candidate thanks to fierce opposition to liberal policies on race. , sex and abortion.

“If Disney wants to fight, they picked the wrong guy,” DeSantis wrote in a fundraising email Wednesday. “As governor, I was elected to put the people of Florida first, and I will not allow an awakened California-based corporation to run our state.”

Democrats, the minority party in the Legislature, opposed the proposal as a clear retaliation against a company that has been a major economic driver in the state.

“Let’s call it that, it’s a punishing and petulant political comeback from a company that dared to say the Emperor had no clothes, but if they perform well in the next election cycle, maybe that we will put it back together,” Sen said. Gary M. Farmer, a Democrat.

Disney did not return an email seeking comment. The company is one of Florida’s largest private employers and last year said it had more than 60,000 workers in the state. It’s not immediately clear how Disney or neighboring governments would be affected if the district were disbanded.

The push to punish Disney came after announcing it would suspend political donations in the state and said he is committed to supporting organizations that oppose the state’s new law limiting sexual orientation or gender identification in classrooms.

DeSantis and other Republicans have lambasted Disney and other critics of the law, arguing that the policy is reasonable and that parents, not teachers, should raise these topics with children.

The creation of the Reedy Creek Improvement District and the control it gave disney more than 27,000 acres (11,000 hectares) in Florida, was a crucial element in the company’s construction projects near Orlando in the 1960s. Company officials said they needed autonomy to plan a futuristic city with the theme park. The city never materialized, however; instead, it turned into an Epcot theme park.

The Florida House of Representatives is expected to consider the bill Thursday.

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Sovereignty

Disney could be stripped of its power of self-government, DeSantis says

Gov. Ron DeSantis held a news conference Tuesday morning at the Villages. The governor began by announcing that lawmakers would consider ending Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement District during this week’s special session. DeSantis issued a proclamation calling for the expansion of the special session to include considering ending all special districts enacted in Florida prior to 1968. Years before Cinderella’s Castle opened, Walt Disney himself proposed to State lawmakers that Disney World should have governmental authority over the territory. Months after his death in December 1966, the Governor and Legislature in 1967 granted the company, under the leadership of Walt’s brother Roy, the creation of the Reedy Creek Improvement District, to govern the property that would eventually become DisneyWorld. Disney’s independence has been under the microscope following the company’s denunciation of Florida’s new “parental rights in education” law, or the “Don’t Say Gay” law. In a tweet, State Rep. Spencer Roach, who represents the North Fort Myers area, wrote that lawmakers have already met twice to discuss repealing the Reedy Creek Improvement Act. “If Disney wants to embrace the ‘woke’ ideology, it seems appropriate that they be regulated by Orange County,” Roach said. “DeSantis went on to say that higher education needs to be affordable and people need to be aware of other pathways. He was joined by Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran, Senate Speaker Wilton Simpson and House Speaker Chris Sprows.

Governor Ron DeSantis held a press conference Tuesday morning in The Villages.

The governor began by announcing that lawmakers would consider ending Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement District during this week’s special session.

DeSantis issued a proclamation calling for the expansion of the special session to include consideration of the termination of all special districts enacted in Florida prior to 1968.

Years before Cinderella Castle opened, Walt Disney himself proposed to state legislators that Disney World have authority over the territory. Months after his death in December 1966, the Governor and the 1967 Legislature granted the corporation, under the leadership of Walt’s brother Roy, the creation of the Reedy Creek Improvement District, to govern the property that would eventually become Disney World.

Disney’s independence has come under scrutiny following the company’s denunciation of Florida’s new “Parental Rights in Education” law, or the “Don’t Say Gay” law.

In a tweet, State Rep. Spencer Roach, who represents the North Fort Myers area, wrote that lawmakers have already met twice to discuss repealing the Reedy Creek Improvement Act.

“If Disney wants to embrace the ‘woke’ ideology, it seems appropriate that they be regulated by Orange County,” Roach said.

What else was discussed at the press conference?

DeSantis went on to say that higher education needs to be affordable and people need to be aware of other pathways. He was joined by Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran, Senate Speaker Wilton Simpson and House Speaker Chris Sprows.

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Self government

Florida Governor DeSantis pushes to end Disney self-government – Winnipeg Free Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Tuesday asked the Legislature to repeal a law allowing Walt Disney World to run private government on its properties in the state, the latest volley of a feud between the governor and the entertainment giant over what critics dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” law.

DeSantis, an ascendant GOP governor and potential 2024 presidential candidate, has battled with Disney over the company’s opposition to the new law banning sexual orientation and gender identity instructions from kindergarten through third grade.

On Tuesday, DeSantis upped the ante.

FILE – The Walt Disney Co. logo appears on a screen above the floor of the New York Stock Exchange August 7, 2017. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Tuesday, April 19, 2022 asked the Legislature to to repeal a law allowing Walt Disney World to operate a private government on its properties in the state, the latest salvo in a feud between the Republican and the media giant. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

As lawmakers returned to the Capitol for a special legislative session on redistricting Congress, the governor issued a proclamation that allows the GOP-controlled statehouse to accept bills eliminating the autonomous district of Disney. Republicans quickly tabled proposals to this effect.

“I’m announcing today that we’re expanding the appeal of what they’re going to be considering this week. And so, yes, they’ll be looking at the map of Congress, but they’ll also be looking at terminating any special districts that have been enacted into law. in Florida before 1968, and that includes the Reedy Creek Improvement District,” DeSantis said at a press conference, referring to the company’s administrative district without mentioning Disney by name. not precised.

Disney representatives did not return an email request for comment on Tuesday. It was not immediately clear how eliminating the district would affect the company or neighboring governments.

The Reedy Creek Improvement District is a private government controlled by Disney World and established by the state legislature in 1967 which enables it to provide government services such as zoning, fire protection, utilities and services. infrastructure.

The creation of the district and the control it gave Disney over 27,000 acres (11,000 hectares) in Florida was a crucial element in the company’s construction projects near Orlando in the 1960s. Officials of the company said they needed autonomy to plan a futuristic city with the theme park. The city never materialized, however; instead, it turned into an EPCOT theme park.

The push to punish the company comes after Disney announced it would suspend political donations in the state due to the new Parental Rights in Education Act. Opponents have dubbed the law “Don’t Say Gay”, arguing that banning classes on sexual orientation and gender identity in the early years would marginalize LGBTQ people.

Disney is one of Florida’s largest private employers: Last year, the company said it had more than 60,000 workers in the state. LGBTQ advocates who work for the company criticized CEO Bob Chapek for what they said was his slowness to speak out against the bill. Some left work in protest.

DeSantis has repeatedly lambasted Disney and critics of the law, attracting considerable attention in conservative media circles. He insists the policy is reasonable and says parents, not teachers, should bring up the topics of sexual orientation and gender identity with children.

Republican lawmakers seem receptive to punishing Disney, tabling proposals that would disband the district by June 2023. DeSantis has been a powerful governor, effectively pushing his priorities in the statehouse, and GOP Senate chairman and president of the House are supporting him on the Disney issue.

Democrats were quick to criticize the governor’s decision in retaliation for the company’s stance on the education bill. Some have pointed out that Disney has been a major economic driver in the state.

“What world are we living in right now? asked Democratic Senator Audrey Gibson. “It’s Florida’s state of freedom. If they don’t agree with the Governor, he pulls out the Gatling gun.

Richard Foglesong, a retired Rollins College political scientist whose book, ‘Married to the Mouse’ chronicles the formation of Reedy Creek, said he initially thought ‘cooler heads would prevail’ in the war of words between DeSantis and Disney.

“I think I was wrong. I overestimated — or underestimated — Governor DeSantis,” Foglesong said. “I see it as a legitimate threat.”

___

Associated Press writers Brendan Farrington in Tallahassee and Mike Schneider in Orlando contributed to this report.

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Sovereignty

Colin Copus: Local government is not local autonomy

A new Council of Europe report highlights the limits of local power in the UK, writes the Emeritus Professor of Local Politics at De Montfort University and Visiting Professor at Ghent University.

The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe has just published its report on this country’s compliance with the Charter of Local Self-Government, signed in 1998, and it is not a pleasure to read – not for localists in any case.

Colin Copus, Emeritus Professor of Local Politics at De Montfort University and Visiting Professor at Ghent University

Although the report acknowledges that some movement has occurred since the last assessment in 2013, the issues of concern raised at the time have still not been addressed and local government and local communities are suffering due to a highly centralized system of government.

The most important problem that the report highlights has not been addressed since 2013 is the complete absence of any legislative recognition of the principle of local self-government, as required by article two of the charter. The report recognizes that local authorities in this country enjoy no real legal protection against interference and control by the central power.

The lack of such integration of local self-government in our system is the reason why we can only speak of local government, rather than as the other 46 member states of the council speak of local self-government. The latter suggests far more autonomy and freedom from central control, interference and oversight than exists for our local government.

Funding overhaul

The report also points out that while some form of general jurisdiction exists, thanks to the first part of the Localism Act 2011, we still fall short of the charter because councils cannot regulate with certainty or predictability the share of local affairs for which they are responsible. because they don’t have the financial resources to do so, nor do they have the freedoms to significantly improve their own financial situation.

Our councils may have general legal jurisdiction but they do not have the actual power and capacity to act in the interest of their localities

General competence, in principle, is also strongly controlled and supervised by the center and does not give our local authorities the freedom to act as is the case in the other 46 member states of the Council of Europe.

Our councils, the report says, may have general legal jurisdiction, but they lack the actual power and capacity to act in the interests of their localities. One of the report’s most powerful recommendations concerns a major overhaul of the local government financing system. But we continue to tinker or resist fundamental change for fear of something worse.

A quick glance at the local authority taxing powers enjoyed by many Council of Europe members shows a much wider basket of powers than those available to our councils – raise your hand who has never paid a tourist tax abroad – but we are still far from obliging tourists from this country to contribute to the local services they consume.

Upgrade

The report highlights the centralized nature of governance in this country and the continued existence of central oversight, regulation, oversight and control of local affairs, and it suggests easing the burden of this monitoring and control.

Given the link between leveling up and decentralization, this recommendation is timely reading, but leveling up as currently configured also links decentralization to centrally set targets and objectives.

In order to avoid over-regulation and centralisation, the report recommends that the Charter of Local Self-Government should become a legally enforceable instrument so that local authorities can apply to the courts to guarantee the free exercise of their powers and responsibilities in order to strengthen their freedom central control – now that would be a radical step for decentralization in this country.

Overall the position of local government here, when opposed to the Charter of Local Self-Government, is not great and shows little or no sign of improvement, but it is worth pointing out. with equal force and clarity by an independent international body.

The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe has done local authorities in this country a great service with its evaluation and report.

It is now up to local government to use this report as a tool for change. The center often promises deconcentration, but offers decentralization – and this dichotomy is very clear in the leveling white paper.

The congress report provided a means of separating deconcentration from decentralization and offered a new basis from which greater freedom and autonomy can be sought for local government. Are we ready to fight?

Read the full report here

Colin Copus, Emeritus Professor of Local Politics, De Montfort University; visiting professor, Ghent University

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Sovereignty

Florida Governor DeSantis Pushes To End Disney Self-Government

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Tuesday asked the Legislature to repeal a law allowing Walt Disney World to run private government on its properties in the state, the latest volley of a feud between the governor and the entertainment giant over what critics have dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” law.

DeSantis, an ascendant GOP governor and potential 2024 presidential candidate, has battled with Disney over the company’s opposition to the new law banning instruction about the sexual orientation and identity of gender from kindergarten to third grade.

On Tuesday, DeSantis upped the ante.

As lawmakers returned to the Capitol for a special legislative session on redistricting Congress, the governor issued a proclamation that allows the GOP-controlled statehouse to accept bills eliminating the autonomous district of Disney. Republicans quickly tabled proposals to this effect.

“I’m announcing today that we’re expanding the appeal of what they’re going to be considering this week. And so, yes, they’ll be looking at the map of Congress, but they’ll also be looking at terminating any special districts that have been enacted into law. in Florida before 1968, and that includes the Reedy Creek Improvement District,” DeSantis said at a press conference, referring to the company’s administrative district without mentioning Disney by name. not precised.

Disney representatives did not return an email request for comment on Tuesday. It was not immediately clear how eliminating the district would affect the company or neighboring governments.

The Reedy Creek Improvement District is a private government controlled by Disney World and created by the state legislature in 1967 to provide government services such as zoning, fire protection, utilities, and infrastructure.

The creation of the district and the control it gave Disney over 27,000 acres (11,000 hectares) in Florida was a crucial element in the company’s construction projects near Orlando in the 1960s. Officials of the company said they needed autonomy to plan a futuristic city with the theme park. The city never materialized, however; instead, it turned into an EPCOT theme park.

The push to punish the company comes after Disney announced it would suspend political donations in the state due to the new Parental Rights in Education Act. Opponents have dubbed the law “Don’t Say Gay”, arguing that banning classes on sexual orientation and gender identity in the early years would marginalize LGBTQ people.

Disney is one of Florida’s largest private employers: Last year, the company said it had more than 60,000 workers in the state. LGBTQ advocates who work for the company criticized CEO Bob Chapek for what they said was his slowness to speak out against the bill. Some left work in protest.

DeSantis has repeatedly lambasted Disney and critics of the law, attracting considerable attention in conservative media circles. He insists the policy is reasonable and says parents, not teachers, should bring up the topics of sexual orientation and gender identity with children.

Republican lawmakers seem receptive to punishing Disney, tabling proposals that would disband the district by June 2023. DeSantis has been a powerful governor, effectively pushing his priorities in the statehouse, and GOP Senate chairman and president of the House are supporting him on the Disney issue.

Democrats were quick to criticize the governor’s decision in retaliation for the company’s stance on the education bill. Some have pointed out that Disney has been a major economic driver in the state.

“What world are we living in right now? asked Democratic Senator Audrey Gibson. “It’s Florida’s state of freedom. If they don’t agree with the Governor, he pulls out the Gatling gun.

Richard Foglesong, a retired Rollins College political scientist whose book, ‘Married to the Mouse’ chronicles the formation of Reedy Creek, said he initially thought ‘cooler heads would prevail’ in the war of words between DeSantis and Disney.

“I think I was wrong. I overestimated — or underestimated — Governor DeSantis,” Foglesong said. “I see it as a legitimate threat.”

___

Associated Press writers Brendan Farrington in Tallahassee and Mike Schneider in Orlando contributed to this report.

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Home rule

Palm Beach leaders have a right to honor the importance of self-reliance

The city of Palm Beach is lucky to have Darrell Donatto in its corner. The Florida League of Cities seems to agree.

The city’s fire chief was recently honored by the organization as a “Home Rule Hero.” Donatto is chair of the Government Relations Committee of the Florida Fire Chiefs Association, which works hand-in-hand with the League of Cities on issues such as self-reliance, which gives local governments the right to local self-governance. .

The state continues to eat away at it, much to the chagrin of the league and local governments.

For example, in February the city petitioned the state for the right to regulate toxic pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides on the island, which the state preempted. Many local governments are also against a bill before Gov. Ron DeSantis that allows businesses whose revenue drops 15% or more as a result of a local ordinance or local citizens’ initiative to sue cities and towns. counties in damages.

State lawmakers have also halted local government decisions on things like plastic bag bans (which the city had to repeal under threat of a lawsuit in 2019), vacation rental regulations, and a host of other things that used to be decided at the local level.

“The most important powers available to a city in Florida are its self-governing powers,” the resolution states, noting that the legislature “has continued to unnecessarily erode the ability of municipalities to enact self-government, to the detriment of the ability of local residential communities to protect the health, safety and well-being of its residents, visitors, domestic animals and wildlife.”

It was not the first time the city had tried to maintain autonomy. The community led the state in implementing rules designed to protect residents during the early stages of COVID-19 — before DeSantis overridden local rules — and was the first in the county to implement a program vaccination against the virus.

Residents are lucky that Donatto, the Florida League of Cities, and the City Council are fighting to maintain autonomy. The all-volunteer City Council and its various councils are used to being well-managed, well-informed and well-supported by the city’s excellent staff and legal team, so constant interference from the State is particularly confusing.

Instead of the bickering and grandstanding that can be found at other levels of government, Palm Beach’s leaders looked after the people of the city first and foremost.

This is a lesson we would like others to learn.

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Home rule

Florida League of Cities honors 2 Fort Pierce officials with ‘Home Rule Hero’ awards

Fort Pierce-April 14, 2022: Two Fort Pierce officials have been honored with Florida League of Cities (FLC) “Home Rule Hero” awards.

Mayor Linda Hudson and Commissioner Curtis Johnson, Jr. were both recognized for their work and advocacy efforts during the 2022 legislative session. They both worked throughout the session to promote local voices making local choices, protect the Home Rule powers of Florida municipalities, and advance the League’s legislative agenda.

Autonomy is the ability of a city to solve local problems with local solutions with minimal state interference. Home Rule Hero Award recipients are local government officials, elected and unelected, who have always responded to the League’s request to contact members of the legislature and help provide a local perspective on an issue.

“On behalf of the League and its legislative team, we are very proud to present this year’s Home Rule Hero Awards to a deserving group of municipal leaders,” said FLC Director of Legislative Affairs Casey Cook. “We had a record number of Home Rule Heroes this year, which shows the dedication and impact of local authorities on behalf of their residents and businesses in protecting local decision-making. These local leaders have been consistently engaged and actively defended their communities throughout the 2022 legislative session. They are Home Rule heroes and we thank them for their efforts.

“It’s important to the City of Fort Pierce and Florida’s more than 400 municipalities that the Legislature recognize Home Rule, a concept found in Florida’s constitution that allows local governments to uniquely and effectively serve residents.” said Mayor Linda Hudson. “We work as a team during each legislative session to tell our story to our state legislators.”

“It is an honor to receive this award and this recognition for the service that I love to do,” Commissioner Johnson said. “As a Florida native, born and raised in Fort Pierce, I will always stand up for local authority because communities need to be able to govern and meet their respective community standards.”

The Florida League of Cities will officially recognize Mayor Hudson and Commissioner Johnson at a future event hosted by the Treasure Coast Regional League of Cities.

Founded in 1922, the Florida League of Cities is the united voice of Florida municipal governments. Its goals are to promote local self-reliance and meet the needs of Florida cities.

For more information, visit: https://flcities.com/.

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Home rule

Taking Home Rule seriously in Kansas – Pratt Tribune

By Russell Fox Professor of Political Science Wichita State University

Many Kansas Republicans probably burst out laughing in disbelief when Gov. Laura Kelly recently insisted she was “a major advocate for local control.” The image of Democrats favoring big government programs, with Republicans fighting to keep government small and local, runs deep. The state’s GOP language, presenting Kelly’s emergency ordinances during the pandemic as examples of “one size fits all” overreach, expertly uses this stereotype.

The truth, however, is more complicated. In Kansas, this complexity is further tangled in the urban/rural divide, with the localities that the Republican majority in Topeka often seems most interested in defending being the slowly emptying rural parts of Kansas, and attempts at self-governance in growing Kansas towns and cities seen as a threat. When Kansas Senator John Doll (R-Garden City) recently commented “I think we [in the legislature] it is enough to do so many things to curb the power of the municipal authorities”, his frustration was justified.

This session included two clear examples of this dynamic. First, a bill to prevent Kansas cities and counties from acknowledging popular environmental concerns by banning or taxing plastic bags, which emerged primarily in response to activism by concerned citizens in Wichita. Second, a bill to prevent Kansas cities and counties from addressing safety and health concerns by issuing municipal ID cards to undocumented workers, which emerged primarily in response to a carefully negotiated ordinance passed in Wyandotte County. The vote was close in both cases (though tighter in the first case than the second), thus potentially allowing Governor Kelly, contrary to the mainstream Republican narrative, to use his veto pen to defend localism.

Anyone who has spent time observing the patterns of Kansas politics through the framework of our population division, and how that plays out in shaping the electoral interests of legislators, cannot find all of this entirely surprising. Over the past decade and a half, there have been many similar conflicts, with most Republican lawmakers consistently rejecting the concerns and priorities expressed in the (very slow, but sure) liberalization of urban Kansas. There have been state laws that reversed the city’s efforts to keep their insurance costs low by preserving gun-free zones in city buildings, and state rulings that blocked the city’s efforts. to reduce or eliminate criminal penalties for the medical or recreational use of marijuana.

Federalism has always been, and always will be, a messy area of ​​American politics. Calls for “local control” have a mixed history on both sides of the political aisle and are often more self-serving than morally grounded. States with Democrat-dominated legislatures do not necessarily have a better record of upholding urban democracy. Still, given that Kansas has a literal “Home Rule” provision written into its state constitution, a little more deference and consistency would be nice. (For example, Lawrence passed an ordinance driven by concerns similar to Wyandotte’s with no reaction from the legislature, suggesting that state opposition to local governance is more a matter of political timing than legal interpretation. )

While there is no chance that Kansas will lose its reputation and historically rural character, the fact remains that the state’s economic development is primarily in the hands of the few urban parts of the state. where the population is growing. Local governments there need a free (or at least freer) hand to respond to the interests and beliefs of their citizens. Treating the efforts of urban Kansans in the name of public health, environmental stewardship, and civic life in the places where they live with dismissive inconsistency is no way to keep the Kansas sunflower blooming.

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Home rule

Work to Begin on Boston Bylaws Petition for an Elected School Committee

Work begins Thursday on a bylaws petition to codify last November’s term of office for an elected school board in Boston.

The business session would determine the details of the petition after more than 99,000 people — 79% of Boston voters, compared to 64% who elected Mayor Michelle Wu — said they wanted to replace Boston’s appointed school board with an elected one.

“I believe this moment requires democracy,” said General Councilor Julia Mejia, who plans to attend the working session with other councilors, as well as a handful of advocates for a fully elected school board. “If you are able to elect a school committee, you are able to hold it accountable.”

The task force will likely have two to three sessions before sending the final version of the bylaws petition to the city council for a vote, Mejia said.

If the council approves, the petition will then go to the state legislature for a vote, and if it passes there, it will head to Governor Charlie Baker to sign it if he agrees with it.
Boston is the only one of Massachusetts’ 351 municipalities that does not have an elected school board.

“Why should Boston be the only municipality where voters can’t be trusted to choose their own decision makers on the school board?” said Lisa Green of Bostonians for an elected school committee, which will participate in Thursday’s business session.

Boston is the only one of Massachusetts’ 351 municipalities that does not have an elected school board.

A city spokesperson didn’t say whether Wu planned to attend the business sessions or send a representative, saying only, “The mayor looks forward to reviewing the proposal she receives from the council.” .

Wu said she favors a hybrid model in which some committee members are appointed by her, as it “allows accountability from the mayor.” But a spokesperson did not say whether his appointees would act as proxies or be independent once appointed.

“It’s interesting that the mayor opposes receivership (a state takeover of Boston’s public schools), but wants at least a hybrid when it comes to the school board,” Green said.

“It’s always the same thing: removing local control. Should we ask the mayor to appoint the city council? We couldn’t stand that.

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Home rule

Taking Home Rule Seriously in Kansas

By Russell Fox Professor of Political Science Wichita State University

Many Kansas Republicans probably burst out laughing in disbelief when Gov. Laura Kelly recently insisted she was “a major advocate for local control.” The image of Democrats as favoring big government programs, with Republicans fighting to keep government small and local, is deeply ingrained. The state’s GOP language, presenting Kelly’s emergency ordinances during the pandemic as examples of “one size fits all” overreach, expertly uses this stereotype.

The truth, however, is more complicated. In Kansas, this complexity is further tangled in the urban/rural divide, with the localities that the Republican majority in Topeka often seems most interested in defending being the slowly emptying rural parts of Kansas, and attempts at self-governance in growing Kansas towns and cities seen as a threat. When Kansas Senator John Doll (R-Garden City) recently commented “I think we [in the legislature] it is enough to do so many things to curb the power of the municipal authorities”, his frustration was justified.

This session included two clear examples of this dynamic. First, a bill to prevent Kansas cities and counties from acknowledging popular environmental concerns by banning or taxing plastic bags, which emerged primarily in response to activism by concerned citizens in Wichita. Second, a bill to prevent Kansas cities and counties from addressing safety and health concerns by issuing municipal ID cards to undocumented workers, which emerged primarily in response to a carefully negotiated ordinance passed in Wyandotte County. The vote was close in both cases (though tighter in the first case than the second), thus potentially allowing Governor Kelly, contrary to the mainstream Republican narrative, to use his veto pen to defend localism.

Anyone who has spent time observing the patterns of Kansas politics through the framework of our population division, and how that plays out in shaping the electoral interests of legislators, cannot find all of this entirely surprising. Over the past decade and a half, there have been many similar conflicts, with most Republican lawmakers consistently rejecting the concerns and priorities expressed in the (very slow, but sure) liberalization of urban Kansas. There have been state laws that reversed the city’s efforts to keep their insurance costs low by preserving gun-free zones in city buildings, and state rulings that blocked the city’s efforts. to reduce or eliminate criminal penalties for the medical or recreational use of marijuana.

Federalism has always been, and always will be, a messy area of ​​American politics. Calls for “local control” have a mixed history on both sides of the political aisle and are often more self-serving than morally grounded. States with Democrat-dominated legislatures do not necessarily have a better record of upholding urban democracy. Still, given that Kansas has a literal “Home Rule” provision written into its state constitution, a little more deference and consistency would be nice. (For example, Lawrence passed an ordinance driven by concerns similar to Wyandotte’s with no reaction from the legislature, suggesting that state opposition to local governance is more a matter of political timing than legal interpretation. )

While there is no chance that Kansas will lose its reputation and historically rural character, the fact remains that the state’s economic development is primarily in the hands of the few urban parts of the state. where the population is growing. Local governments there need a free (or at least freer) hand to respond to the interests and beliefs of their citizens. Treating the efforts of urban Kansans in the name of public health, environmental stewardship, and civic life in the places where they live with dismissive inconsistency is no way to keep the Kansas sunflower blooming.

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Home rule

City Manager Lori LaVerriere Receives 2022 Home Rule Hero Award Boca Raton’s Most Trusted Source

Lori LaVerriere

City manager recognized for advocacy efforts in 2022 legislative session

Boca Raton, Fla. – The Florida League of Cities (FLC), celebrating its 100th anniversary as the united voice of Florida municipal governments, recently honored City Manager Lori LaVerriere with a 2022 Home Rule Hero Award for her hard work and leadership. advocacy efforts during the 2022 Legislative Session. She worked tirelessly throughout the session to promote local voices making local choices, protect the Home Rule powers of Florida municipalities, and advance the League’s legislative agenda.

“On behalf of the League and its legislative team, we are very proud to present this year’s Home Rule Hero Awards to a deserving group of municipal leaders,” said FLC Director of Legislative Affairs Casey Cook. “We had a record number of Home Rule Heroes this year, which shows the dedication and impact of local authorities on behalf of their residents and businesses in protecting local decision-making. These local leaders have been consistently engaged and actively defended their communities throughout the 2022 legislative session. They are Home Rule heroes and we thank them for their efforts.

Autonomy is the ability of a city to solve local problems with local solutions with minimal state interference. Home Rule Hero Award recipients are local government officials, elected and unelected, who have always responded to the League’s request to contact members of the legislature and help provide a local perspective on an issue.

Lori LaVerriere has served the public sector for over 35 years, working for several municipalities in Palm Beach County. Currently City Manager of Boynton Beach, LaVerriere manages 15 departments and an annual budget of $251 million. She leads a team of 800 employees who serve a population of over 80,000. LaVerriere served as Deputy City Manager before becoming City Manager in December 2012. She has held the title of ICMA Accredited City Manager for 14 years. She is an active member of the International County/City Management Association (ICMA) and is the president-elect of the Florida City and County Management Association (FCCMA). Lori has also served on the board of directors for the Palm Beach County City Management Association (PBCCMA). She holds a BA from Florida International University and an MBA from Palm Beach Atlantic University. She is also a graduate of the Palm Beach County Leadership Class of 2020.

“It is a privilege to work with the mayor and the municipal commissioners to defend the principle of autonomy. Boynton Beach’s ability to engage directly with residents and businesses and set our own rules and ordinances is a critical component in helping meet the unique needs of our community,” LaVerriere said. “It is truly an honor to be the recipient of the 2022 Home Rule Hero Award.”

Founded in 1922, the Florida League of Cities is the united voice of Florida municipal governments. Its goals are to promote local self-reliance and meet the needs of Florida cities, which are formed and governed by their citizens. The League believes in “Local Voices Making Local Choices,” which focuses on the impact of citizens and municipal leaders on improving Florida communities. For more information, visit flcities.com.

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Home rule

Three DeLand officials honored with 2022 Home Rule Hero Award

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE CITY OF DELAND

Commissioner Chris Cloudman, Mayor Bob Apgar and Deputy City Manager Mike Grebosz recognized for their advocacy efforts during the 2022 legislative session

The Florida League of Cities (FLC), which is celebrating its 100th anniversary as the united voice of Florida municipal governments, recently honored three city officials – Commissioner Chris Cloudman, Deputy City Manager Mike Grebosz and Mayor Bob Apgar – with a 2022 Home Rule Hero Award for their hard work and advocacy efforts during the 2022 legislative session. All three worked tirelessly throughout the session to promote local voices making local choices, protect the powers of the Home Rule of Florida Municipalities and advancing the League’s legislative agenda.

“On behalf of the League and its legislative team, we are very proud to present this year’s Home Rule Hero Awards to a deserving group of municipal leaders,” said FLC Director of Legislative Affairs Casey Cook. “We had a record number of Home Rule Heroes this year, which shows the dedication and impact of local authorities on behalf of their residents and businesses in protecting local decision-making. These local leaders have been consistently engaged and actively defended their communities throughout the 2022 legislative session. They are Home Rule heroes and we thank them for their efforts.

This is the first time that DeLand has 3 recipients in the same year.

Autonomy is the ability of a city to solve local problems with local solutions with minimal state interference. Home Rule Hero Award recipients are local government officials, elected and unelected, who have always responded to the League’s request to contact members of the legislature and help provide a local perspective on an issue.

“I’m proud of the work our city has done to protect not only our residents, but municipalities across the state,” said Mayor Bob Apgar. “For some time now, state legislators have eroded the rights of local governments to self-govern when they should be collectively focused on addressing issues affecting our entire state, such as runaway rents, funding for affordable housing or rising seas.

“I want to congratulate Commissioner Chris Cloudman and Deputy City Manager Mike Grebosz for receiving this award 2 years in a row. As I step down later this year, I am happy to know that there are others who will continue to defend our city and I encourage all of our future commissioners to be active advocates for DeLand at the community level. ‘State.

Commissioner Chris Cloudman was born in Boynton Beach and raised in Port Orange. He moved to DeLand in 2008 and was appointed to Seat 4 of the City Commission in 2014 and has served ever since.

Deputy City Manager Mike Grebosz, a city resident and graduate of Stetson University, has worked for the city for 17 years, the last six years as Deputy City Manager.

Mayor Apgar has won the Home Rule Hero Award multiple times since its inception in 2009. He has been very active in the Volusia League of Cities, Florida League of Mayors, and Florida League of Cities in various capacities during his tenure as mayor .

— Chris Graham, DeLand Community Information Manager

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Independence activist

Taiwan mourns independence activist Peng Ming-min – News





Taiwan mourns independence activist Peng Ming-min – News – RTI Radio Taiwan International













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  • April 11, 2022

  • Leslie Liao
Taiwanese independence activist Peng Ming-min dies at 98

Taiwan mourns the death of a key figure in the country’s democratic transition and its independence movement.

Longtime Taiwanese independence advocate Peng Ming-min died last week at the age of 98. Peng’s foundation announced his death last Friday, but did not state a cause. Peng ran as the Democratic Progressive Party candidate in Taiwan’s first direct presidential election in 1996. In 2000, President Chen Shui-bian hired him as a senior adviser to the president.

Peng was born in 1923. He studied in Canada and France. In 1942, he lost his left arm during an American aerial bombardment while he was in Japan. Authorities arrested Peng in 1964 for sedition after he published a manifesto advocating Taiwan independence. In 1970, Peng fled to Sweden and then to the United States where he became a teacher. There he established the Formosa Association for Public Affairs, or FAPA. He returned to Taiwan in 1992 after then-president Lee Teng-hui reformed Taiwan’s penal code, granting amnesty to Peng.

Premier Su Tseng-chang said Peng loves Taiwan and has devoted his whole life to the country. Su says he thinks Taiwanese will remember Peng as a fighter. He says Peng’s followers will carry on his legacy.

On its website, Peng’s foundation states that his last words were “Taiwan and China are separated.” It is an absolute truth. Peng’s will states that he does not wish a burial. He will be cremated and buried in a church in the city of Kaohsiung.

Peng had a rich life where he witnessed many major events in Taiwan’s history. His experience and his influence make him a unique actor. Although Peng is gone, his legacy is sure to live on.

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Home rule

Taking home rule seriously in Kansas – Leavenworth Times

Many Kansas Republicans probably giggled in disbelief when Gov. Laura Kelly recently insisted she was “a major advocate for local control.” The image of Democrats as favoring big government programs, with Republicans fighting to keep government small and local, is deeply ingrained. The state’s GOP language, presenting Kelly’s emergency ordinances during the pandemic as examples of “one size fits all” overreach, expertly uses this stereotype.

The truth, however, is more complicated. In Kansas, this complexity is further tangled in the urban/rural divide, with the localities that the Republican majority in Topeka often seems most interested in defending being rural Kansas localities that are slowly emptying out, and with attempts at self-governance. in growing Kansas. towns and cities considered a threat. When Kansas Sen. John Doll (R-Garden City) recently commented, “I think we (in the Legislature) do so much to limit the power of the municipality,” his frustration was justified.

This session included two clear examples of this dynamic. First, a bill to prevent Kansas cities and counties from acknowledging popular environmental concerns by banning or taxing plastic bags, which emerged primarily in response to activism by concerned citizens in Wichita. Second, a bill to prevent Kansas cities and counties from addressing safety and health concerns by issuing municipal ID cards to undocumented workers, which emerged primarily in response to a carefully negotiated ordinance passed in Wyandotte County. The vote was close in both cases (though tighter in the first case than in the second), thus potentially allowing Kelly, contrary to the mainstream Republican narrative, to use his veto pen to defend localism. Anyone who has spent time watching

Anyone who has spent time observing the patterns of Kansas politics through the framework of our population division, and how that plays out in shaping the electoral interests of legislators, cannot find all of this entirely surprising. Over the past decade and a half, there have been many similar conflicts, with most Republican lawmakers consistently rejecting the concerns and priorities expressed in the (very slow, but sure) liberalization of urban Kansas. There have been state laws that reversed the city’s efforts to keep their insurance costs low by preserving gun-free zones in city buildings, and state rulings that blocked the city’s efforts. to reduce or eliminate criminal penalties for the medical or recreational use of marijuana.

Federalism has always been, and always will be, a messy area of ​​American politics. Calls for “local control” have a mixed history on both sides of the political aisle and are often more self-serving than morally grounded. States with Democrat-dominated legislatures do not necessarily have a better record of upholding urban democracy. Still, given that Kansas has a literal “home rule” provision written into its state constitution, a little more deference and consistency would be nice. (For example, Lawrence passed an ordinance driven by concerns similar to Wyandotte’s with no reaction from the legislature, suggesting that state opposition to local governance is more a matter of political timing than legal interpretation. )

While there is no chance that Kansas will lose its reputation and historically rural character, the fact remains that the state’s economic development is primarily in the hands of the few urban parts of the state. where the population is growing. Local governments there need a free (or at least freer) hand to respond to the interests and beliefs of their citizens. Treating the efforts of urban Kansans in the name of public health, environmental stewardship, and civic life in the places where they live with dismissive inconsistency is no way to keep the Kansas sunflower blooming.

Russell Arben Fox teaches politics in Wichita.

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Sovereignty

Expectation of self-government attracts more citizens to the Métis Nation of Ontario

By Shari Narine

Journalism Initiative local reporter,

Margaret Froh Métis Nation President of Ontario

It’s a “very exciting time” to be Métis in Canada and Ontario, says Margaret Froh, president of the Métis Nation of Ontario.

With Métis self-government on the horizon, the number of Métis in Ontario registering their citizenship with the MNO is increasing, she says.

People “want to be a part of Métis history, as well as access to the variety of services we offer that will only grow and expand as we move forward, especially under self-government,” said said Froh in an exclusive interview with Windspeaker. com.

In 2019, the MNO signed a Métis Government Recognition and Self-Government Agreement with Canada. It outlines the steps to be taken for the federal government to recognize the inherent self-government rights held by the Métis communities represented by the MNO and authorize the MNO to implement those rights on behalf of these communities.

Similar agreements have been signed by the federal government with the Métis nations of Alberta and Saskatchewan.

In 2017, the MNO and the Ontario government announced that there were seven “historic Métis communities in the province that meet the Powley test criteria”. Powley is the name of the defendants in a landmark Supreme Court of Canada decision on Métis hunting rights. The court established a set of criteria that the Metis must meet in order to have these hunting rights.

“We represent Métis who are historically connected to historic Métis communities in Ontario, such as the Powley community (in Sault Ste. Marie) and we also represent Métis who are connected to the Métis Nation homeland west of Ontario,” said Froh.

MNO’s most recent registry numbers sit at around 28,000 citizens.

“The new Métis government will have recognized law-making powers in the areas of citizenship, leadership selection and internal operations. The Self-Government Agreement has “locked in” these steps so that they cannot be swept away by changing winds or political circumstances. In this way, the Self-Government Agreement ‘sets the table’ for the next steps the MNO will take to implement the agreement,” reads the MNO’s website.

The progress of meetings needed to take those next steps has been affected by the coronavirus, Froh says, noting that public gatherings were banned in early 2020 as a way to combat COVID-19. It was therefore difficult, but not impossible, to reach regional and local leaders.

“One of the most important things we have to do is we have to build our constitution through dialogue with citizens across the province working from the bottom up,” Froh said.

The constitution will address issues such as who the Métis are, the governance structure, how to elect leaders, and how to resolve disputes.

Now that most COVID restrictions have been recalled or lifted, Froh said they will move forward with a “deep level of engagement” to hear from people around what they want to see in terms of our Métis government 30, 50, 70 years into the future. It’s a really exciting process. It’s really engaging people.

She adds that the interest comes from both young people and elders.

While this larger work is underway, the MNO is also working on policy. Two of his new policies ensure that MNO resources, programs, services and appointments go where they are supposed to go.

“Our concern is that when we negotiate benefits on behalf of Métis rights holders, they go to Métis rights holders and we deal with that,” Froh said.

The Eligibility Policy for Direct Benefits Programs and Services now requires full MNO citizenship record status to be eligible.

These programs and services include early learning and child care programs, post-secondary education, MNO COVID relief programs, home improvement, and housing stabilization.

The MNO is also tackling the issue of people claiming to be Métis and receiving post-secondary appointments. These false claims have come to the fore over the past year.

The MNO has adopted a policy of verifying the status of the MNO’s citizenship file with other governments and third-party institutions. It provides a mechanism for a government or third-party institution (such as a university) to verify the citizenship record status of an MNO citizen applying to receive an award, benefit or recognition, where proof that an individual is a Métis rights holder is a factor in the decision.

Froh says such a check only works if a Metis from Ontario is on the MNO’s registration list. However, not being on this list does not mean that someone is not Métis.

“In this case, it is a little more difficult for you to be able to demonstrate to any institution,” she pointed out.

The Congress of Aboriginal Peoples also represents Métis, as well as off-reserve status and non-status First Nations, and southern Inuit.

Shari Narine is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works at Windspeaker.Com. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

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Independence activist

Veteran Taiwan Independence Activist Peng Ming-min Dies at 98 | Taiwan News

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Peng Ming-min (彭明敏), a veteran pro-democracy and pro-independence activist from Taiwan, died on Friday (April 8) in Taipei.


Peng was one of the most influential figures in the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). In 2000, he served as National Political Advisor to former President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁).


Born in Taichung during Japanese rule (1895-1945), Peng studied law and political science at what was then Tokyo Imperial University, later renamed Tokyo University. Peng returned to Taiwan to continue his studies at National Taiwan University and earned a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1948, when there was a political crackdown on intellectuals after the Kuomintang (KMT) lost the civil war. for the benefit of the Chinese Communist Party and moved to Taiwan.


After graduating, Peng worked briefly in a bank, then earned a master’s degree in law from McGill University in Canada and a doctorate in international law from the University of Paris in 1954. After returning to Taiwan to teach at National Taiwan University, Peng was already an internationally renowned international law expert.


Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek later appointed Peng as an advisor to the Taiwanese delegation to the United Nations in 1961, the highest political post held by an ethnic Taiwanese at the time.


However, Peng became skeptical of the political system after three years of service, so he jointly authored “A Manifesto to Save Taiwan,” which advocated rewriting the outdated constitution to reflect political reality, protect human rights, man and create responsible government, as well as joining the UN with a new identity – as Taiwan rather than “China”.


The attempt to update the constitution failed and Peng was sentenced to eight years in prison. However, Peng managed to escape to Sweden and then to the United States in 1970.


He held leadership positions in several pro-democracy and pro-independence organizations during his 22 years in the United States, during which he co-founded the Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA) in 1982. This is become one of the most influential organizations in Washington. pro-Taiwan based lobby groups.


Peng returned to Taiwan in 1992 at the invitation of President Lee Teng-hui (李登輝). He joined the DPP in 1995 and ran against Lee in the country’s first direct presidential election on behalf of the DPP.


The Peng Foundation for Culture and Education (彭明敏文教基金會) announced Peng’s loss on Friday morning (April 8), adding that the veteran pro-independence activist will be laid to rest in a cemetery at the Presbyterian Church in Yancheng District. , Kaohsiung.

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Self government

Pending self-government draws more citizens to Métis Nation of Ontario

It’s a “very exciting time” to be Métis in Canada and Ontario, says Margaret Froh, president of the Métis Nation of Ontario.

With Métis self-government on the horizon, the number of Métis in Ontario registering their citizenship with the MNO is increasing, she says.

People “want to be a part of Métis history, as well as access to the variety of services we offer that will only grow and expand as we move forward, especially under self-government,” said Froh in an exclusive interview with Windspeaker. com.

In 2019, the MNO signed a Métis Government Recognition and Self-Government Agreement with Canada. It outlines the steps to be taken for the federal government to recognize the inherent self-government rights held by the Métis communities represented by the MNO and authorize the MNO to implement those rights on behalf of these communities.

Similar agreements have been signed by the federal government with the Métis nations of Alberta and Saskatchewan.

In 2017, the MNO and the Ontario government announced that there were seven “historic Métis communities in the province that met the Powley test criteria”. Powley is the name of the defendants in a landmark Supreme Court of Canada decision on Métis hunting rights. The court established a set of criteria that the Metis must meet in order to have these hunting rights.

“We represent Métis who are historically connected to historic Métis communities in Ontario, such as the Powley community (in Sault Ste. Marie) and we also represent Métis who are connected to the Métis Nation homeland west of Ontario,” said Froh.

MNO’s most recent registry numbers sit at around 28,000 citizens.

“The new Métis government will have recognized law-making powers in the areas of citizenship, leadership selection and internal operations. The Self-Government Agreement has “locked in” these steps so that they cannot be swept away by changing winds or political circumstances. In this way, the Self-Government Agreement “sets the table” for the next steps the ORM will take to implement the agreement,” reads the ORM’s website.

The progress of meetings needed to take those next steps has been affected by the coronavirus, Froh says, noting that public gatherings were banned in early 2020 as a way to combat COVID-19. It was therefore difficult, but not impossible, to reach regional and local leaders.

“One of the most important things we have to do is build our constitution…through dialogue with citizens across the province working from scratch,” Froh said.

The constitution will address issues such as who the Métis are, the governance structure, how to elect leaders, and how to resolve disputes.

Now that most COVID restrictions have been recalled or lifted, Froh said they will move forward with a “deep level of engagement…in order to hear from people around what they want to see in terms of our Métis government 30, 50, 70 years into the future. It’s a really exciting process. It’s really engaging people.

She adds that the interest comes from both young people and elders.

While this larger work is underway, the MNO is also working on policy. Two of his new policies ensure that MNO resources, programs, services and appointments go where they are supposed to go.

“Our concern is that when we negotiate benefits on behalf of Métis rights holders, they go to Métis rights holders and we deal with that,” Froh said.

The Eligibility Policy for Direct Benefits Programs and Services now requires full MNO citizenship record status to be eligible. These programs and services include Early Learning and Child Care Programs, Post-Secondary Education, MNO COVID Relief Programs, Home Improvement and Housing Stabilization.

The MNO is also tackling the issue of people claiming to be Métis and receiving post-secondary appointments. These false claims have come to the fore over the past year.

The MNO has adopted a policy of verifying the status of the MNO’s citizenship file with other governments and third-party institutions. It provides a mechanism for a government or third-party institution (such as a university) to verify the citizenship record status of an MNO citizen applying to receive an award, benefit or recognition, where proof that an individual is a Métis rights holder is a factor in the decision.

Froh says such a check only works if a Metis from Ontario is on the MNO’s registration list. However, not being on this list does not mean that someone is not Métis.

“In this case, it is a little more difficult for you to be able to demonstrate to any institution,” she pointed out.

The Congress of Aboriginal Peoples also represents Métis, as well as off-reserve status and non-status First Nations, and southern Inuit.

Windspeaker.com

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Self government

Canada and the Anishinabek Nation sign historic self-government agreement

The federal government has signed a historic self-government agreement with the Anishinabek Nation.

The Anishinabek Nation Governance Agreement is the first self-government agreement of its kind in Ontario and focuses on recognizing the inherent right of First Nations to self-determination as they transition to self-government.

Marc Miller, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, joined Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Reg Niganobe and several First Nations Chiefs, including Nipissing First Nation Chief Scott McLeod, at a virtual ceremony on Wednesday.

“Congratulations to the First Nations who signed the Anishinabek Nation Governance Agreement today and I salute all the hard work, dedication and perseverance of those involved in achieving this historic moment,” said Niganobe. “The Governance Accord is another instrument we have to implement Anishinaabe inherent jurisdictions and laws in fundamental areas that are the pillars of our First Nations governments: citizenship, language and culture, and how we select our leaders and are accountable to their citizens.

The agreement was reached after more than 20 years of negotiations and recognizes Anishinabek control over governance and legislative powers in key areas, including the conduct of elections, the functioning of their governments, as well as language protection. and Anishinaabe culture.

“As our nations strive to reclaim our rightful jurisdiction over our own governance, the Anishinabek Nation Governance Accord provides us with a tool to opt out of sections of the Indian Act, allowing us to govern and protect our elections, our language and culture, our citizenship, and management and operations,” says McLeod. “This is a positive step towards self-government.”

Once in effect, the parts of the Indian Act that deal with governance will no longer apply to signatory Anishinabek First Nations.

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Sovereignty

Canada and Anishinabek First Nations sign historic self-government agreement

OTTAWA (ON), April 6, 2022 /CNW/ – Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada and the Anishinabek Nation

The government of Canada works with First Nations partners to restore respectful nation-to-nation relationships, recognize their inherent right to self-determination, and support communities as they emerge from the grip Indian Act and the transition to self-government.

Today, the Honorable Marc Miller, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, joined the Chief of the Grand Council of the Anishinabek Nation Reg NiganobeChief Lloyd Myke of Magnetawan First Nation, Gimaa Kwe Rhonda Williams-Lovett of Moose Deer Point First Nation, Chief Scott McLeod of the Nipissing First Nation, Chief larry roque of the Wahnapitae First Nation and Chief Irene Kels of the Zhiibaahaasing First Nation in a virtual ceremony to celebrate the signing of the Anishinabek Nation Governance Agreement.

the Anishinabek Nation Governance Agreement is the first self-government agreement of its kind in Ontario and marks an important step away from the Indian Act for the signatory Anishinabek First Nations.

Obtained after more than 20 years of negotiations, this historic agreement will recognize Anishinabek control over the governance and law-making powers of signatory First Nations in key areas. First Nations will make their own decisions about how their elections will be held, who their citizens are and how their governments will operate, and how best to protect and promote Anishinaabe language and culture. Once in force, the parts of the Indian Act that deal with governance will no longer apply to signatory Anishinabek First Nations.

Quote

“Congratulations to the Anishinabek leadership and all those who worked so long at the negotiating table and through community outreach to bring this historic Agreement to life. This Agreement will help revitalize traditional Anishinaabe governance and renew our nation-to-nation relationship with the signatory. Anishinabek First Nations. We look forward to continuing to work with our Anishinabek partners on all of our shared priorities, implementing their inherent right to self-determination, and supporting their inspiring visions of a better future for their citizens.

The Honorable Marc Miller
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

“Congratulations to the First Nations who signed the Anishinabek Nation Governance Agreement today and salute the hard work, dedication and perseverance of those involved in reaching this historic moment. The Governance Agreement is another instrument we have to implement Anishinaabe inherent jurisdictions and laws in fundamental areas that are the pillars of our First Nations governments: citizenship, language and culture, and how we select our leaders and are accountable to their citizens. The new government-to-government fiscal transfer removes these First Nations from these particular limitations of the Indian Act and helps these First Nations determine their respective priorities.

Head of the Grand Council Reg Niganobe
Anishinabek Nation

“Anishinaabe governance is the legacy that E’dbendaagzijig will leave today for future generations: the ability to govern ourselves and determine what is best for our community. This will be achieved through a community-based law-making process — relevant and unique to Moose deer tip.”

Gimaa Kwe Rhonda Williams-Lovett
Moose Deer Point First Nation

“For the Wahnapitae First Nation, the signing of this agreement is another milestone on a very long journey, a journey our members have traveled since the Creator placed the Anishinaabe on Mother Earth. With the momentum of one step, we take the next, and we do so with the knowledge and wisdom of our people who carry us all forward. Today, we are very happy to continue this journey as we seek to exercise our inherent right of self-government.

Chief larry roque
Wahnapitae First Nation

“As our nations strive to reclaim our rightful jurisdictions over our own governance, the Anishinabek Nation Governance Agreement provides us with a tool to opt out of sections of the Indian Act, enabling us to govern and protect our elections, language and culture, citizenship, management and operations. This is a positive step towards autonomy. »

Chief Scott McLeod
Nipissing First Nation

“Magnetawan Anishinabek governance is the next step in exercising our inherent right to govern ourselves and position our community and members in creating our supreme laws.”

Chief Lloyd Myke
Magnetawan First Nation

“This deal is one for our history books. It will help us build new relationships within our community. We need to keep the Anishinaabemowin alive so we can connect with our environment and be proud of who we are.

Chief Irene Kels
Zhiibaahaasing First Nation

Fast facts

  • Self-government negotiations with the Anishinabek Nation on governance began in 1995, resulted in an agreement-in-principle in 2007 and concluded in 2019.

  • Over the past two years, the Agreement has been approved by the citizens of each signatory First Nation through a community vote.

  • This follows extensive community outreach during this period as well as engagement with Anishinabek citizens during negotiations.

  • Now that the Accord is signed, the next step is federal legislation to put the Accord into effect.

  • Signatory First Nations (which make up the Anishinabek Nation government) will also be required to pass their own Anishinabek laws to create and manage their new system of governance.

  • This work will be supported by increased funding to First Nations to fulfill their new responsibilities and invest in community priorities for a better future.

  • This is not the first self-government agreement negotiated with the Anishinabek Nation. In 2018, the parties reached an Education Self-Government Agreement which is now in effect for 23 Anishinabek First Nations in Ontario.

Related links

Anishinabek Nation Governance Agreement

Anishinabek Nation

Self-government

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View original content: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/April2022/06/c6167.html

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Self government

Normani on his new era of ‘self-government’ and the vulnerable song ‘Fair’ (exclusive)

Normani on his new era of ‘self-government’ and the vulnerable song ‘Fair’ (exclusive)

Norman enters a new era. ET’s Denny Directo spoke to the 25-year-old singer about her latest track, “Fair,” and her decision to release music that reflects her, even if it’s not what fans expect.

“With ‘Fair’, I feel like it was really the perfect record to be vulnerable, to share my innermost thoughts and feelings and what grief feels like to me,” she said. to ET. “I’m always introducing myself. Yes, everyone knows I can dance and I can be this confident, diva performer, but there’s so much more.”

Although Normani was very attached to the song’s release, being so vulnerable was still “absolutely terrifying” to her.

“I always say it’s such a cheeky move, because I know what people want from me and I know what my fans want, but at some point it’s like, where do I put me in there?” she asked. “I know what it’s like to put out records that I don’t necessarily believe in and do things that are expected of me, but I have to put out records that really reflect the growth of the last three years that I’ve grown. I’ve had.”

Manufacturing the music video because the track was equally nerve-wracking and rewarding for the singer.

“I feel like it was therapeutic in a way. Just filming the visual was definitely triggering. It was the first time I felt like I could really tap into my acting abilities, which I’m really proud of,” she said. “I think obviously there was a little nervousness because I really have to emotionally go there and go back to where the song was written from, which was incredibly triggering and difficult.”

Normani added that “in the end, after all the tears and screams…it was really awesome. I feel like it’s one of my best. I’m proud of it.”

The success of the song and the fan response it generated made Normani more confident in her abilities.

“[I’ve learned] trust me more. Trusting my abilities and knowing that God has given me all the tools I need,” she said. “I don’t need to search for anything. I have everything I need to step into the destiny he is creating and the path he has given me, so I just need to do this.”

As she enters this period of “self-government”, Normani does not leave her fans behind, as she remains extremely grateful for their support.

“For someone who always felt very neglected and was the only black girl in a group, mentally that was a lot for me. There were times when I felt unseen and unimportant, and my vocal ability wasn’t as amazing,” she said. “To come out of it, I feel my resilience, but also the people who have been riding with me since day one. I’m so grateful for that.”

With that in mind, Normani promises her fans that the songs they’ve been waiting for are “all coming this summer.”

“It will definitely be worth the wait. Hope you like it as much as I do,” she said of her upcoming album. “I obviously spent a few years on it…I just hope they feel closer to me, honestly. That’s the beauty of music. People can interpret it any way they want, but once that it’s theirs, I hope they enjoy it.”

As they eagerly await the new music, fans can check out Normani’s version of “Take me to the ball game‘, which she recorded as part of her partnership with Cracker Jack, in the midst of their Cracker Jill campaign.

“I wanted to keep it as close to the original as possible while adding my vocal textures and leads to Normani-fy a bit,” she said of the beloved track. “It didn’t take much because it’s so classic. I didn’t want to lose the integrity of what the record was. That’s the beauty of it. It was fun, though. C was fun shooting the clip.”

As for the campaign itself, Normani is honored to be a part of it, as it celebrates the groundbreaking achievements of female athletes.

“She comes out of it with a vengeance and with full force,” Normani told ET of Cracker Jill. “It was a long time coming and I feel very late. But here we are and I’m truly honored to have been asked to be a part of such a monumental moment for the brand.”

“I was really inspired by a lot of women at a young age, whether it was in music, whether it was sports, whether it was fashion or modeling,” she added. “To me, that representation is so essential, and it’s not every day that you associate yourself with a brand that aligns with your vision and what you sincerely believe in.”

Normani gives soulful performance of new single on ‘The Tonight Show’

Normani releases vulnerable new track “Fair”

Normani Teases New Album And When Fans Can Expect It (Exclusive)

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Home rule

Chandler accepts arguments for Proposition 470, home rule option

City of Chandler officials are now accepting arguments for or against Proposition 470, which would give Chandler leaders financial control over budgeting instead of following a state formula. Proposition 470 would not raise taxes, according to city council members at a March 21 town meeting.

A primary election will be held on August 2 to elect a mayor, elect three city council members and approve or reject Proposition 470.. Arguments regarding Proposition 470, also known as the rule of origin option, must be filed by 5 p.m. on March 4. Submissions are limited to 300 words, according to a press release, and the cost to file an argument is $150. Payments can be made by personal check payable to the City of Chandler, credit or debit card, cash or money order.

Arguments may be submitted in person at Chandler City Hall, City Clerk’s Office, 175 S. Arizona Ave., First Floor, Chandler, or by mail at Chandler City Hall, Mail Stop 606, PO Box 4008, Chandler, AZ 85244-4008 . Each argument must be submitted electronically to the City Clerk’s Office at [email protected]according to the press release.

According to a presentation given at a March 21 city council study session, the City of Chandler is $215.82 million over budget that would have been allocated by the state. If Proposition 470 were denied, the city would have to make major adjustments to its spending practices to accommodate the state’s formula, which was created more than 40 years ago.

Some of these adjustments could potentially include cuts to street maintenance funding, the deferral or cancellation of capital projects, and cuts to public safety funding. Proposition 470, which would last four years once confirmed, has been approved 10 consecutive times since 1982.

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Self government

Manitoba Metis Federation Takes Another Step Towards Self-Government

By Chelsea Kemp

Journalist of the Local Journalism Initiative

The Manitoba Metis Federation fine-tuned the verbiage of its constitution at its annual general meeting over the weekend, strengthening its ability to serve in the Red River Metis national government.

The Annual General Meeting was held from Friday to Sunday and presented 23 resolutions to amend the MMF constitution, election regulations

Leah LaPlante, Vice-President of the Southwest Region of the Manitoba Métis Federation

The MMF is in negotiations with the federal government to establish a treaty process and establish the rules around being a government for the Red River Métis. An agreement between the parties was reached on July 6, 2021, when the Manitoba Métis Recognition and Implementation Agreement was signed. Together, they are working to advance the document and the government-to-government relationship based on the affirmation of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership with the Red River Métis.

The document was jointly developed by all parties and marks a historic agreement that will support MMF’s vision of self-determination and self-government, said Leah LaPlante, MMF Southwest Region Vice President.

The agreement recognizes the right of the Manitoba Métis to self-government and the mandate of the MMF to serve as the government of the Manitoba Métis. This includes recognition of the MMF’s jurisdiction over citizenship, leadership selection, elections and operations relating to Red River Métis citizens.

The constitutional amendments in the MMF assembly are a vital part of history, LaPlante said, and mark the fulfillment of generations of hard work on behalf of the Métis people.

Sometimes she had doubted that she would ever be able to witness this historic moment.

“I think sometimes we still pinch ourselves thinking that we’ve finally been recognized after so many years.”

LaPlante was 16 when she first joined a local MMF south of Boissevain. It’s amazing how far the organization has come since its launch in 1967, she said.

The MMF has faced adversity over the years that has taken hard work and dedication to overcome, LaPlante said, but the end result has been the empowering experience of forging treaty rights and self-reliance. governmental.

“When it’s in your heart. When it’s your people. When you’re telling your story and wanting to make people’s lives better, you’re really trapped and I think that’s part of who you are.

The Manitoba Métis Recognition and Implementation Agreement marks a moment of empowerment for Métis citizens, she said, and for younger generations who take over from their parents who are fighting for these rights. since many years.

She was impressed by the number of young people who attended the assembly and who pledged to fight for the future of Métis citizens.

Youth are essential Métis citizens, she said, as they will move the MMF forward into the future while listening to elders to understand the stories of the past. They need to know the struggle that unfolded to see where they want to go.

“It’s the perfect learning experience for teens to sit, listen and ask questions.”

Over 2,000 Métis citizens attended the in-person assembly at Assiniboine Downs over the weekend. Although most health measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic have been lifted across Manitoba, the organization continues to focus on the safety of its citizens, including proof of vaccination, wearing mask and sanitation in the meeting.

LaPlante is part of the team of justice, constitutional, natural resources and citizenship ministers who have worked on constitutional changes over the past two years. The final product of the federation-approved resolutions will recognize the MMF as the pre-existing democratic representative government of the Métis of Manitoba, which has the responsibility to provide responsible and accountable self-government to its Red River Métis citizens.

“We are going to grow in a very big way, there are exciting times ahead.”

Chelsea Kemp Isa Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works at the Brandon Sun. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada. Turtle Island News does not receive funding from the LJI government.

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Self government

Florida lawmakers consider stripping Disney of its power of self-government

Two Floridian powers clash again. On Monday, Governor Ron DeSantis spoke about Disney in what became the latest development in an ongoing battle. The back-and-forth comes after the company denounced the state’s new “Don’t Say Gay” law, as critics call it. This week, lawmakers said they were considering stripping Disney of some of its power in the state. Years before Cinderella Castle opened, Walt Disney himself proposed to state legislators that Disney World have authority over the territory. Months after his death in December 1966, the Governor and Legislature in 1967 granted the society, under the leadership of Walt’s brother Roy, the creation of the Reedy Creek Improvement District, to govern the property that would eventually become Disney World. But now Disney’s independence is under the microscope following the company’s denunciation of Florida’s new ‘Parental Rights in Education’ law, or the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law. “. In a tweet, State Rep. Spencer Roach, who represents the North Fort Myers area, wrote that lawmakers have already met twice to discuss repealing the Reedy Creek Improvement Act. He said, “If Disney wants to embrace the woke ideology, it seems appropriate that they should be regulated by Orange County.” On Friday, DeSantis said he supports lawmakers’ review of Disney’s power. “They basically put this one company on a pedestal and treated it differently, not only than other companies, but even other theme parks,” DeSantis said. Under Florida law, Reedy Creek landowners, like Disney, can regulate their own water, electricity, and emergency services. DeSantis said their power doesn’t end there. “I was shocked to see some of the things. They can build their own nuclear power plant. Is there any other private company in the state that can just build a nuclear power plant on their own?” to do things that no one else can do. So I think they’re right to look at that and reevaluate and have a level playing field for everybody I think that’s way better than basically to allow a company to be a law on itself.” So what are the chances of Florida dethroning Disney? “Right now, I would say, it’s more talking than doing. Surprise me,” said Aubrey Jewett, a UCF political science professor. “If I were Disney, I would definitely take this threat seriously.” He said this battle between DeSantis and Disney could get a lot uglier. before it gets better. just, to me, shocking and usual to see the head of disney and the governor of florida shoot each other. and i haven’t seen anything like it in florida politics for 30 years let me study it,” Jewett said. As for what happens next with the Reedy Creek Improvement District, the governor said it was up to the Florida legislature to decide. “I as governor could be presented with changes to that, and I think I said I would be receptive to that, but ultimately the legislature would have to move on,” said DeSantis. WESH 2 News has contacted Disney. The company has not responded, but in a previous statement it pledged to have the Parental Rights in Education Act repealed or struck down by the courts.

Two Floridian powers clash again.

On Monday, Governor Ron DeSantis spoke about Disney in what became the latest development in an ongoing battle. The back-and-forth comes after the company denounced the state’s new “Don’t Say Gay” law, as critics call it.

This week, lawmakers said they were considering stripping Disney of some of its power in the state.

Years before Cinderella Castle opened, Walt Disney himself proposed to state legislators that Disney World have authority over the territory. Months after his death in December 1966, the Governor and Legislature in 1967 granted the company, under the leadership of Walt’s brother Roy, the creation of the Reedy Creek Improvement District, to govern the property that would eventually become DisneyWorld.

But now Disney’s independence is under the microscope following the company’s denunciation of Florida’s new “parental rights in education” law, or the “Don’t Say Gay” law.

In a tweet, State Rep. Spencer Roach, who represents the North Fort Myers area, wrote that lawmakers have already met twice to discuss repealing the Reedy Creek Improvement Act.

He said, “If Disney wants to embrace the woke ideology, it seems appropriate that they be regulated by Orange County.”

On Friday, DeSantis said he supports lawmakers’ review of Disney’s power.

“They basically put this one company on a pedestal and treated it differently, not just from other companies, but even from other theme parks,” DeSantis said.

Under Florida law, Reedy Creek landowners, like Disney, can regulate their own water, electric, and emergency services. DeSantis said their power doesn’t end there.

“I was shocked to see some of the stuff in there. They can build their own nuclear power plant. Is there any other private company in the state that can build a nuclear power plant by itself? ” he said. “They are able to do certain things that no one else is able to do. So I think they’re right to look at that and re-evaluate and have a level playing field for everybody I think that’s a lot better than allowing a company to be a law on it -same.

So what are the chances of Florida dethroning Disney?

“Right now I would say it’s more talking than doing. But that said, this governor and this legislature would not surprise me,” said Aubrey Jewett, professor of political science at UCF. “If I were Disney, I would definitely take this threat seriously.”

He said this battle between DeSantis and Disney could get a lot uglier before it gets better.

“It’s just, to me, shocking and customary to see the head of Disney and the Governor of Florida shoot each other. And I haven’t seen anything like it in Florida politics in the 30 years I’ve studied it. “said Jewett.

As for what happens next with the Reedy Creek Improvement District, the governor said it’s up to the Florida legislature to decide.

“I as governor could be presented with changes to that, and I think I said I would be receptive to that, but ultimately the legislature would have to move forward,” DeSantis said.

WESH 2 News has contacted Disney. The company has not responded, but in a previous statement it pledged to have the Parental Rights in Education Act repealed or struck down by the courts.

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Home rule

House Republicans threaten DC Home Rule

President Biden’s recently proposed budget has drawn attention to the District of Columbia’s lack of control over its own affairs. The budget would preserve a longstanding congressional ban on DC using its own tax funds to implement a legal cannabis sales system similar to those enacted in many other states and localities across the country. This ban was crafted by a Maryland congressman in direct contradiction to the wishes of the residents of the district.

The continuation of the ban follows a promise by leading House Republicans to further curtail the district’s already limited control over its own affairs if they regain Congress midterm. In fact, some have gone so far as to call for the complete repeal of the Home Rule Act, which allows for municipal government elected by DC residents.

These threats are a reminder of just how fragile DC’s local autonomy is. They also stress the importance of DC statehood not only to ensure fair representation in Congress, but also to ensure that residents of the district have the same rights enjoyed by their fellow citizens, having a say in the rules that govern their life.

Self-reliance in DC, historically a majority black city and always plural, has always been a major civil rights concern. Since 1973, the Home Rule Act has allowed residents to elect their own mayor and their representatives to a 13-member city council. Residents and activists have fought for nearly two centuries to reach even this limited democratic stage. They faced fierce opposition from segregationists in Congress who were quick to invoke white supremacy to justify the complete disenfranchisement of residents of the district.

The Civil Rights Movement, the leadership of advocates, and the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 underscored the importance of DC’s autonomy. By allowing southern blacks to register to vote, the law upended many southern congressional districts and provided momentum for the passage of the Home Rule Act.

But home rule was only a partial victory. The District Clause of the Constitution gives Congress the ability “to exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatever” within the district. The Home Rule Act ceded some of this power, but Congress reserved the right to veto any municipal policy and retained extensive control of local district tax revenues, which must still be disbursed by the through Congressional appropriations.

This has significant implications for DC residents. The ban on cannabis sales is one example among many. In 1992, Congress reversed a measure passed by the district to extend health insurance coverage to domestic partners of single municipal workers. From 1998 to 2007, Congress blocked the district from using local taxpayer money for a needle exchange program. For all but four years since 1988, Congress has prohibited DC from using local funds to provide abortion services to Medicaid recipients, disproportionately impacting women of color in the district. By making these decisions, some members of Congress deliberately subvert the will of DC residents to impose their own agenda. Others noted the “racist-tinged paternalistic attitude” behind many of these decisions.

These same attitudes now threaten the limited gains DC has made. Opponents of Home Rule cite issues like crime, which is on the rise nationally and for which DC is not an outlier. In doing so, they increasingly resorted to the kind of anti-democratic and racist rhetoric that had previously been used to justify denying DC residents the right to vote. DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, the district’s second black female mayor, has often been the target of this rhetoric.

This backlash is brewing just as Congress is getting closer than ever to making DC a state. The House passed HR 51, the Washington, D.C. Admissions Act, for the first time in 2020 and again in 2021. The bill’s Senate counterpart, S. 51, was heard in committee at during the current session of Congress.

DC, with nearly 700,000 residents, has more residents than Vermont and Wyoming and a population similar to several other states. No other country singles out residents of its own capital for disenfranchisement in this way. And yet, even the maintenance of a limited autonomy seems threatened.

Without statehood, DC residents will remain deprived of real control over their own affairs and their limited agency will continue to be exposed to further erosion. Statehood ensures that residents have the same voice in the local laws that govern their lives and say in our national life that their fellow citizens enjoy. It is high time to grant neighborhood residents the right to fully participate in our democracy.

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