Florida Votes To End Disney’s Self Governing Power

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLORIDA - MARCH 03: Mickey Mouse waves to fans during a parade at Walt Disney World Resort on March 03, 2022 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images for Disney Dreamers Academy)

The Florida Senate approved a bill on Wednesday that would end the special self-governing status given to Disney.

The bill was passed with a vote of 23–16, and the Florida House is also expected to vote in favor of the legislation.

On Tuesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that lawmakers are “considering termination of all special districts that were announced in Florida prior to 1968 — and that includes the Reedy Creek Improvement District”.

The Reedy Creek Improvement Act, which was signed into law in May 1967 by Gov. Claude Kirk, gives Disney its special status.

The company had suggested building a development on 25,000 acres of property in Central Florida’s Orange and Osceola counties, which also had “38.5 square miles of mostly uninhabited pasture and swampland,” reported Fox News.

In order to make the proposal happen, the state established the Reedy Creek Improvement District, allowing the company to act with the same authority as a county government.

Last month during a press conference, DeSantis said “What I would say as a matter of first principle is I don’t support special privileges in law just because a company is powerful and they’ve been able to wield a lot of power”.

Disney heavily criticized what is called the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which is legislation that prohibits classroom instruction on “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” with children in third grade or younger.

The bill does not actually use the word “gay” and doesn’t contain language that bans the word in schools.

“Our goal as a company is for this law to be repealed by the legislature or struck down in the courts, and we remain committed to supporting the national and state organizations working to achieve that,” Disney said.

“Look, there’s policy disputes, and that’s fine,” DeSantis said, “but when you’re trying to impose a woke ideology on our state, we view that as a significant threat”.