Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) declared this week that the state government would look into eliminating special advantages that give Disney quasi-governmental power over the Walt Disney World Resort’s area.
The governor said during a news conference that when legislators convene this week for a special session to redraw the state’s congressional maps, their list of goals will be extended to include the repeal of all previous special districts, including the Reedy Creek Development District where Walt Disney World is located.
The shakeup would be a slap to Disney’s attempts to get involved in Florida’s Parental Rights in Education problem, which prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in K-3 grades and restricts such conversations to what state standards determine are age- or developmentally appropriate settings.
DeSantis, on the other hand, claimed that left-wing employees were pressuring him to battle Disney and issued press releases condemning the law. “Our aim as a company is for this legislation to be repealed by the legislature or declared unconstitutional by the courts,” the corporation said in a public statement.
DeSantis rejected Disney’s demands by telling executives to go pound sand, and he suggested that the legislature repeal regulations that give the corporation self-governing authority over roughly 40 square miles of Central Florida and around Orlando.
It now appears that the governor and state legislature will follow through on it.
According to the Reedy Creek Improvement District, which includes Walt Disney World Resort, under Florida legislation, “landowners within the Reedy Creek Improvement District, mainly Walt Disney World, would be solely responsible for paying the cost of providing basic municipal services like electricity, water, streets, and fire protection.” Orange and Osceola County residents would not be required to pay for the construction or maintenance of these services.
If the measure is struck down, Disney would no longer be able to govern itself as a city under the law. The properties of Disneyland Resort would fall under the authority of Orange and Osceola counties, and those counties’ taxes, regulations, and rules would apply to it.
On March 30, State Rep. Spencer Roach, a Republican who represents the Fort Myers region, announced that lawmakers had met twice to talk about getting rid of the Reedy Creek Improvement Act of 1967, which provides Disney with special rights.
This week, Roach claimed that he was “pleased that we are taking action to correct this deviation from the free market.”
“The government should never use state power to pick winners and losers in the marketplace. There will be no more corporate welfare,” he added.