Florida lawmakers consider stripping Disney of self-governing power

Two Florida powerhouses face off once again. On Monday, Governor Ron DeSantis spoke about Disney in what has become the latest development in an ongoing battle. This tug-of-war comes after the corporation denounced the state’s new “Don’t Say Gay” law, as critics call it. This week, lawmakers said they are considering stripping Disney of some of its power in the state. Years before Cinderella Castle opened, Walt Disney himself proposed to state legislators that Disney World should have governing authority over the land. Months after his death in December 1966, the Governor and Legislature in 1967 granted the company, under the direction of Walt’s brother Roy, the establishment of the Reedy Creek Improvement District, to govern the property that would eventually become at DisneyWorld. But now, Disney’s independence is under the microscope after the company denounced Florida’s new ‘Parental Rights in Education’ law, or ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law. In a tweet, State Rep. Spencer Roach, who represents the North Fort Myers area, wrote that lawmakers have already met twice to talk about repealing the Reedy Creek Improvement Act. He said, “If Disney wants to embrace the awakening ideology, it seems appropriate.” that should be regulated by Orange County.” On Friday, DeSantis said he supports lawmakers’ review of Disney’s power. “Essentially, they’ve gotten this corporation put on a pedestal and treated differently, not just that other companies, but even other theme parks,” DeSantis said. Under Florida law, the owners of Reedy Creek, like Disney, can regulate their own water, power and emergency services. DeSantis said his power doesn’t end there. “I was surprised to see some of the stuff that’s there. They can make their own nuclear power plant. Is there any other private company in the state that can build a nuclear power plant on their own? he said he. “They’re capable of doing certain things that no one else can do. So I think they’re right to look at this and re-evaluate and have a level playing field for everybody, I think it’s much better than basically allowing one company to be a law unto itself. same”. So what are the chances of Florida dethroning Disney? “Right now, I’d say it’s more about talking than doing. But with that said, this governor and this legislature wouldn’t do anything I’d be surprised,” said Aubrey Jewett, a professor of political science at UCF. “If I were Disney, I would definitely take this threat seriously.” He said this battle between DeSantis and Disney could get a lot uglier before it gets any better. Governor of Florida basically shooting each other. And I haven’t seen anything like it in Florida politics in the 30 years I’ve been studying it. As for what happens next with the Reedy Creek Federal District improvement project, the governor said it’s up to the Florida legislature to decide. “I, as governor, could be presented with changes to that. , and I think I said I would be receptive to that, but ultimately the legislature would have to move on,” DeSantis said. WESH 2 News reached out to Disney. The company has not responded, but in a previous statement said it was committed to repeal or overturn the Parents’ Rights in Education Act in court.

Two Florida powerhouses face off once again.

On Monday, Governor Ron DeSantis spoke about Disney in what has become the latest development in an ongoing battle. This tug-of-war comes after the corporation denounced the state’s new “Don’t Say Gay” law, as critics call it.

This week, lawmakers said they are considering stripping Disney of some of its power in the state.

Years before Cinderella Castle opened, Walt Disney himself proposed to state legislators that Disney World should have governing authority over the land. Months after his death in December 1966, the Governor and Legislature in 1967 granted the company, under the direction of Walt’s brother Roy, the establishment of the Reedy Creek Improvement District, to govern the property that would eventually become at DisneyWorld.

But now, Disney’s independence is under the microscope after the company denounced Florida’s new “Parental Rights in Education” law, or “Don’t Say Gay” law.

In a tweet, State Rep. Spencer Roach, who represents the North Fort Myers area, wrote that lawmakers have already met twice to talk about repealing the Reedy Creek Improvements Act.

He said, “If Disney wants to embrace the awakening ideology, it seems appropriate for Orange County to regulate them.”

On Friday, DeSantis said he supports lawmakers’ review of Disney’s power.

“Essentially, they have gotten this corporation put on a pedestal and treated differently from not only other companies but even other theme parks,” DeSantis said.

Under Florida law, Reedy Creek landowners, like Disney, can regulate their own water, electric, and emergency services. DeSantis said his power doesn’t end there.

“I was surprised to see some of the things that are there. They can make their own nuclear power plant. Is there any other private company in the state that can build a nuclear power plant on their own? he said. “They are able to do certain things that no one else can do. So I think they’re right to look at this and reassess and have a level playing field for everyone, I think it’s much better than basically allowing a company to be a law unto itself.”

So what are the chances of Florida dethroning Disney?

“Right now, I would say it’s more about talking than doing. But having said that, nothing would surprise me with this governor and this legislature,” said Aubrey Jewett, a professor of political science at UCF. “If I were Disney, I would definitely take this threat seriously.”

He said this battle between DeSantis and Disney could get a lot uglier before it gets better.

“It’s just, to me, shocking and customary to see the head of Disney and the governor of Florida basically shooting at each other. And I haven’t seen anything like it in Florida politics in the 30 years I’ve been studying it,” Jewett said.

As for what happens next with the Reedy Creek Improvement District, the governor said it’s up to the Florida legislature to decide.

“I, as governor, could be presented with changes to that, and I think I said I would be receptive to that, but ultimately the legislature would have to move forward,” DeSantis said.

WESH 2 News contacted Disney. The company has not responded, but in a previous statement said it has promised to repeal or overturn the Parents’ Rights in Education Act in court.

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