Florida Bill Would Grant DeSantis Control Over Disney’s Special District

FILE PHOTO: Republican Governor DeSantis holds 2022 U.S. midterm elections night party in Tampa, Florida

Florida Bill Would Grant DeSantis Control Over Disney’s Special District

Lorenzo Prieto on February 7, 2023

A new bill filed on Monday would give Florida Governor Ron DeSantis extraordinary powers over the management of the Walt Disney Corporation’s special district.

Disney operates Reedy Creek Improvement District, a special autonomous area within Florida over which Disney can exercise considerable discretionary power, according to ABC News. The 189-page bill would give the governor power to appoint his own committee approved by the Florida Senate to run the district; Disney currently chooses its own committee representatives.

The bill will ensure that each representative of the new committee will not have any previous relationship with Disney in the past three years and will tend to the district’s financial responsibilities, according to ABC News. The district’s name could also change to “Central Florida Tourism Oversight District.”

This legislation comes after the Disney’s public criticism over the Parental Rights in Education Law, labeled as the “Don’t Say Gay Bill,” which banned discussions on gender identity and sexual orientation in K-3 classrooms. Disney denounced the law as discriminatory and said it “should never have passed and should never have been signed into law.”

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DeSantis’ office contends that the bill is meant to make Disney more accountable, according to ABC News. The new committee would impose taxes on Disney to begin possible road projects in the area.

The legislation is likely to become law thanks to a Republican majority in both chambers of the legislature.

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