Laurel Duggan on April 20, 2022
Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Tuesday that lawmakers would move to consider terminating Disney’s special district and privileges.
DeSantis urged the state legislature in a Tuesday press conference to pass bills eliminating special tax districts created prior to 1968 including Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement District. Lawmakers are considering legislation in a special session to eliminate the districts, including Disney’s, which allows the company to function as its own municipal government and control functions such as taxation, land use, environmental protection and emergency medical services.
“I want to thank Speaker Sprowls and Senator Simpson for not only working obviously for the reapportionment but for stepping up and making sure that we make the sunset or the termination on those special districts happen, which I think is very important,” DeSantis said.
In addition to congressional reapportionment, this week’s special session will include termination of legacy special districts and removal of exemptions from the big tech accountability law. pic.twitter.com/67sF4E113I
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) April 19, 2022
“The governor has consistently supported a more even, fair playing field for all businesses in Florida,” a spokesperson for DeSantis’ office told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “Should a corporation be serving as a regulator and a business at the same time? Should a corporation get to avoid standard environmental permitting processes? Should a corporation engage in eminent domain? Other businesses don’t get these privileges.”
The move by DeSantis was not intended as retaliation against Disney for their public opposition to Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill, the spokesperson told DCNF.
“It was unfortunate that Disney decided to wade into a political debate and attempt to undermine a common-sense law, enacted by a duly elected legislature and signed by a duly elected governor, with the support of the vast majority of Floridians,” the spokesperson said. “In fact, it was Disney that ‘retaliated’ by publicly vowing to ‘repeal’ or have the law ‘struck down.’”
Disney recently came under fire for opposing the bill, which banned classroom instruction on gender identity and sexual orientation for children in kindergarten through third grade. DeSantis signed the bill into law March 28.
Tensions escalated further when leaked videos purportedly revealed internal Disney company meetings in which employees and corporate leaders reportedly divulged plans to inject gay and transgender content into children’s programs and help employees medically transition their children to the opposite sex.
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