Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced legislation Monday to nullify Disney’s last-minute agreements intended to curb the governor’s newly-formed state control board, which was designed to oversee Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement District, the company’s special tax district.
The district had anticipated DeSantis’ signing of legislation that would have revoked the corporation’s self-governing privileges, and enacted a last-minute agreement to give Disney control of the district’s development rights and privileges. The governor announced a bill Monday that will nullify those agreements, as they were filled with legal issues and were not formed with proper notice, according to a press release.
“That’s not going to fly,” DeSantis said in the press conference. “We want to make sure that Disney lives under the same laws as everybody else.”
The agreement, formed on Feb. 8, ensures that the state control board receive consent from Disney before making any changes, undermining DeSantis’ legislation.
🚨🚨 BREAKING: Governor @RonDeSantisFL announces that any agreements the old Disney board agreed to at the last minute “will be revoked” by new legislation.
“The people’s will is established and is upheld.” pic.twitter.com/pK9lgHBLGv
— DeSantis War Room 🐊 (@DeSantisWarRoom) April 17, 2023
DeSantis signed the legislation on Feb. 27 revoking Disney of their self-governing privileges within the Reedy Creek Improvement District, citing that the corporation should abide by the same rules as the rest of the state. The legislation also established a state control board – Central Florida Tourism Oversight District Board – to replace Reedy Creek.
“All agreements signed between Disney and the District were appropriate, and were discussed and approved in open, noticed public forums in compliance with Florida’s Government in the Sunshine law,” Disney said in a statement, WKMG reported.
The DeSantis-Disney feud began last year when the corporation came out against the governor’s Parental Rights in Education Bill for being discriminatory, and called for the law’s repeal. CEO Bob Iger slammed the governor’s actions as “anti-business” and “anti-Florida.”
The state control board will meet on Wednesday to introduce initiatives to hold Disney accountable, DeSantis told Good Morning Orlando’s Simon Conway.
Disney did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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