Florida Government takes away Disney’s right to Self Govern

DeSantis Goes After the Magic Kingdom

Carl Harding, Writer

On April 22, 2022, Florida State Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill that revokes Walt Disney’s special district status and the bill is also dissolving the Reedy Creek Improvement District that has lasted over 50+ years. The district allowed Disney to make additions to its park in Florida such as theme parks, hotels, and other attractions to attract tourists without problems from the other counties in Florida. This special status also allowed Disney to levy additional taxes on itself to pay for services such as trash collection, road maintenance, and other services. This special district is something other counties in the state aren’t allowed to have. The bill was given to the State Senate on Wednesday, April 20, and passed with a vote of 23-16. On Thursday, April 21, it was sent to the state’s House of Representatives where it passed with a vote of 70-38. 

DeSantis and the Florida State Government put this bill into effect as a way of punishing Walt Disney for its opposition to the Don’t Say Gay bill that DeSantis had signed into law back in March. Many people are criticizing Desantis and the State Government’s decision to put this bill into effect as it goes against freedom of speech and how this act is contradictory to the first amendment. 

Disney’s about-face was a reminder of the power of the liberal professional class, which pushed the company’s reluctant CEO into the political arena against his initial judgment. And then there’s the ethical pretzel of DeSantis, who enjoys talking about his support for free speech, but also punished Disney for the sin of speaking freely” said American journalist Derek Thompson. Florida taxpayers and residents of the surrounding counties near the district have filed a lawsuit against the State Government claiming that they would be burdened with Disney’s $1 billion bond debt.

Disney on the other hand, has been quiet since the bill was passed, but it has been speculated that Disney might leave Florida in response to this new bill.