DALLAS — If things don’t work out between Disney and the state of Florida, Judge KP George says the entertainment behemoth would be more than welcome to call Fort Bend County home.
George recently sent a letter to Disney CEO Bob Chapek inviting the company to do business in Fort Bend County.
George wrote that the county has a strong focus on economic development and a business friendly climate. In fact, the judge told Chapek that other major employers, including Amazon, Texas Instruments and Comcast have recently made “massive investments” in the county.
But so far, George says he hasn’t received a response.
“Disney is a humongous organization,” George said on Inside Texas Politics. “Bottom line is to answer your question, we haven’t. But we’ll definitely stay optimistic.”
The feud between Disney and Florida’s Republican governor and Republican lawmakers has only grown in recent weeks, after the state dissolved the company’s special district around the resort that allowed it to, in essence, act as its own government.
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But Disney has since pushed back and told the state that it can’t make that move without first paying the Reedy Creek Improvement District’s nearly $1 billion in bond debt.
In his pitch to Disney, George said the company and its employees and fans were facing “authoritarian, anti-business, and culture war attacks from extremists in Florida.”
Some critics of new laws passed in Texas, including the election bill, the heartbeat bill and new state directives involving transgender families, would argue Texas isn’t that much different than Florida.
George told us he would have no specific comment on that.
“Honestly, I don’t control Tallahassee or Austin. I don’t have any control there. I can only control my county,” the Democrat said.
Fort Bend County is one of the most diverse counties in the entire country. And while trying to lure Disney, George is also touting the county’s high graduation rates, strategic location and the availability of land.
He says there are thousands of acres available.
“Land is never going to be an issue in my opinion,” said George. “What happened in Fort Bend County, two-thirds of the population live on one-third of the land. And when you go to the south side of the county, there are thousands of acres of land available. It looks like a countryside.”