DeSantis-backed Florida bill could REPLACE Disney’s self-governing power with state-run board

DeSantis refuses to back down from Disney fight as bill is introduced to REPLACE entertainment giant’s self-governing power with state-run board – and force it to pay more than $700M in unsecured debt

  • Disney World’s self-governing power in Florida could be replaced with a state-run board under radical plans backed by Governor Ron DeSantis
  • The overhaul would also force the company to pay $700 million dollars in unsecured debt that might otherwise have been paid by taxpayers
  • DeSantis launched an effort to upend Disney’s self-governing powers after the company’s former CEO criticized Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill
  • The bill bans teaching of sex and gender issue in the state’s schools
  • Plan for a state-run board means ‘Disney will no longer control its own government’, DeSantis’s spokesman said

Disney World’s self-governing power in Florida could be replaced with a state-run board under radical plans backed by Governor Ron DeSantis.

The overhaul – part of an ongoing row between Disney and state officials which began over the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill – would also force the company to pay $700 million dollars in unsecured debt that might otherwise have been paid by taxpayers.

Since 1967, Disney has been responsible for the governance of an area known as Reedy Creek, which is partly within Orange and Osceola counties. Critics say the arrangement gives the firm special legal and tax privileges.

DeSantis launched an effort to upend Disney’s self-governing powers after the company’s former CEO, Bob Chapek, condemned Florida’s Rights in Education Bill, termed the Don’t Say Gay bill, which limits teaching about sex and gender identity in the state’s classrooms.

On Friday, a notice posted to the website of Osceola County said legislation would be introduced to create a state-controlled board for Reedy Creek.

DeSantis launched an overhaul of Disney's self-governing status within Reedy Creek after the company's former CEO publicly criticized Florida's 'Don't Say Gay' Bill

DeSantis launched an overhaul of Disney’s self-governing status within Reedy Creek after the company’s former CEO publicly criticized Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill

Since 1967, Disney has been responsible for the governance of an area known as Reedy Creek, which is partly within Orange and Osceola counties. The new bill would put a state-run board in charge of governance

Since 1967, Disney has been responsible for the governance of an area known as Reedy Creek, which is partly within Orange and Osceola counties. The new bill would put a state-run board in charge of governance

DeSantis’ communications director, Taryn Fenske, told Fox News: ‘The corporate kingdom has come to an end.

‘Under the proposed legislation, Disney will no longer control its own government, will live under the same laws as everyone else, will be responsible for their outstanding debts, and will pay their fair share of taxes.

‘Imposing a state-controlled board will also ensure that Orange County cannot use this issue as a pretext to raise taxes on Orange County residents.’

The jurisdiction reportedly has $700 million of unsecured debt that sources claim could be paid with money from Orange County taxpayers. The plan to install a state-run board would force Disney to pay the debt, it’s claimed.

The Reedy Creek district is governed by its 19 landowners, the biggest of them being Disney World. Disney's status as majority landowner means it choose members of the district board

The Reedy Creek district is governed by its 19 landowners, the biggest of them being Disney World. Disney’s status as majority landowner means it choose members of the district board

DeSantis allies said the development was the governor 'doing exactly what he said he would' after he wrote into law the plan to dissolve the Reedy Creek Improvement District in April 2022

DeSantis allies said the development was the governor ‘doing exactly what he said he would’ after he wrote into law the plan to dissolve the Reedy Creek Improvement District in April 2022

In April 2022, DeSantis wrote into law the plan to dissolve the Reedy Creek Improvement District, setting the wheels in motion to eliminate its special status.

His former chief of staff said the governor was ‘doing exactly what he said he would’, adding: ‘Disney can no longer have its own government and own taxing authority, and Disney — not taxpayers — will have to be responsible for any financial consequences.’

The author of Florida’s controversial Don’t Say Gay bill told DailyMail.com in December that the state will not back down in its fight against Disney.

Florida State Rep. Randy Fine also said that for the media behemoth to repair its relationship with Florida, the studio must stop producing woke movies.

His comments come after a report in the Financial Times which said that Florida lawmakers were considering allowing Disney to continue with its self-governing district in the Orlando area following the return of former CEO Bob Iger.

Gov. Ron DeSantis’s office insisted at the time: ‘Governor DeSantis does not make U-turns.’

The Reedy Creek district is governed by its 19 landowners, the biggest of them being Disney World.

It is responsible for overseeing land use and providing essential public services, including fire protection, emergency medical services, water services, electricity, sanitation. The district also operates and maintains all public roads and bridges.

Disney CEO Bob Iger made a shocking return to the role in November after it was reported board received multiple complaints about Chapek.

Chapek was reportedly chided for Disney’s muddled reaction to the Don’t Say Gay bill. The company initially didn’t comment on the bill but under pressure, Chapek eventually condemned it.

Source

Related posts