Disney Loses Control of Special District to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis – The Hollywood Reporter

Gov. Ron DeSantis now controls the development board. Walt Disney World, seizing leverage over the state’s largest employer and retaliating against the entertainment giant for opposing the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law.

“Today, the corporate kingdom finally comes to an end,” He spoke. Monday A bill signing ceremony Disney property. “There’s a new sheriff in town, and accountability will be the order of the day.”

Under the law, effective immediately, DeSantis has the authority to appoint every member of the special tax district’s five-member governing body subject to approval by the state Senate. At DeSantis spoke at the news conference Florida Attorney Martin Garcia He will be the chairman. The Board will include Brian Aungst Jr., a lawyer and the son of a former Republican Mayor of one Florida’s largest cities, Christian Ziegler Bridget Zieglera conservative member of the school board and wife of Florida Republican Party chairman Ron PeriCEO of The Gathering USA Ministry, and attorney Michael SassoHe said so.

Still, Disney You can keep it most of the perks that’s allowed the company to self-govern the land on its sprawling theme park resort for over 50 years. It It retains most of its debt obligations, and is exempt from many regulations, taxes, and fees. In addition, it has powers that allow it to act like its own government, including the issuance and provision of infrastructure services on its land.

Disney didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

The feud between Florida The legislators Disney When the company pushed back against the Parental Rights In Education LawThe law prohibits teaching gender sexuality in the third grade. Disney Initial silence on the issue was not an option. However, employees pressured them to oppose it.

In response, Florida Legislators last year A bill was passed Dissolution of independent special districts created before 1968 While There are hundreds of special districts in the state, many of which were established after this date. Another The bill was introduced in February reshaping the district’s leadership structure and changing the name of Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement District The Central Florida Tourism Oversight District.

The passage of the law is a part of DeSantis’ crusade seeking to overhaul the education establishment as he positions himself for a presidential run next year. The Law is designed to protect Disney You should not speak out about cultural issues such as gender identity and sexual orientation or you could be liable for disruptions to company operations. That Pressure could be extended to Disney’s content decisions.

“I think that all of these board members very much would like to see the type of entertainment that all families can appreciate,” DeSantis made the remarks at the news conference.

Other Among the issues raised during the announcement was increasing pay for emergency service personnel and forcing them to work harder. Disney To pay more for transport projects “woke” Policies of the company include mandates for vaccines for employees, and requirements for masking for children.

The Governor also stated that the law does not eliminate Disney’s exemptions from the Florida Building and fire prevention codes, as well as state regulatory reviews, are all part of the responsibility to ensure that the company is fully compliant with its obligations. “fair share of taxes.”

“This bill will impose Florida law on this area, just like it’s imposed on Universal Studios and SeaWorld and all these other places,” He stated. “And so this is what accountability looks like. This is what standing up for Florida taxpayers and the rule of law looks like.”

Rep. Anna V. Eskamani, Democrat From OrlandoA statement stated that Disney’s special tax district — and the advantages that come along with it — weren’t dissolved despite statements from DeSantis indicating otherwise.

“All this bill does is rename Reedy Creek and allow Governor DeSantis to appoint hostile conservative cronies to a new board,” She spoke. “Disney still maintains the same tax breaks — but their First Amendment rights have been suppressed, and it sends a message to any private individual or company that if you don’t purport to what the Governor wants, then you’ll be punished.”

In another similar scenario, events took place in January The governor replaced the leadership at New College This is Florida, a small liberal arts school in the state. Pointing to low enrollment and test scores, he installed six new conservative members to the college’s board of trustee. They The president was then replaced by a popular vote.

Former Vice President Mike Pence said on CNBC’s Squawk Box DeSantis may be overreaching this week.

“Disney stepped into the fray. They lost, but then the taxing authority — that was beyond the scope of what I, as a conservative, limited-government Republican — would be prepared to do,” He stated. 

Disney, a former DeSantis donor, remains one of the state’s largest employers. After The company was awarded a $578million tax break and announced that it would relocate 2,000 jobs. California To FloridaEven though the plans were

The New board to be formed March 8.

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