Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation Friday to nullify Disney’s last-minute agreements intended to curb the governor’s state control board implemented to oversee the corporation’s special tax district.
Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement District anticipated the governor’s signing of legislation to revoke the company’s self-governing privileges, and made eleventh-hour agreements granting Disney control of the district’s developmental rights and privileges. DeSantis signed the bill to nullify those agreements, as they were made within the three-month window that the state control board was enacted.
“An independent special district is precluded from complying with the terms of any development agreement, or any other agreement for which the development agreement serves in whole or part as consideration, which is executed within 3 months preceding the effective date of a law modifying the manner of selecting members of the governing body of the independent special district from election to appointment or from appointment to election,” the bill reads.
#BREAKING: Gov. Ron DeSantis signs bill into law allowing the district encompassing Walt Disney World to cancel the company’s last-minute deals with the prior district granting themselves far-reaching authority
— Florida’s Voice (@FLVoiceNews) May 5, 2023
The governor signed legislation on Feb. 27 stripping Disney’s special privileges, declaring that the corporation must abide by the same rules as the rest of Florida’s businesses and established the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District Board to replace Reedy Creek.
The last-minute agreement was signed ahead of the governor’s bill on Feb. 8 to thwart the state control board and required it to go through Disney’s executives before making any changes. (RELATED: Republicans Ripping DeSantis For Feuding With Disney Took Company’s Campaign Cash)
Disney sued the governor on April 26, and accused him of advancing a “targeted campaign of government retaliation.” The DeSantis-Disney battle started in 2022 when the corporation bashed the governor’s Parental Rights in Education Bill, that critics dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” Bill, for not being inclusive enough of the LGBTQ community.
“That’s not going to fly,” DeSantis said in a press conference when he announced the legislation. “We want to make sure that Disney lives under the same laws as everybody else.”
Neither DeSantis nor Disney immediately responded to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.
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