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March 26, 2023
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis took a shot at Disney World this week, reminding the public that the theme park complex will likely lose its long-standing self-governing status later this year due to legislation he introduced last year.
DeSantis spoke to reporters during a press briefing in Ocala this week, telling them, “This is obviously now going to be controlled by the state of Florida, which is no longer self-governing for them.” He added, “So, there’s a new sheriff in town and that’s just the way it’s going to be.”
The governor moved to strip Disney of its self-governing status over the Reedy Creek Improvement District, where it has enjoyed control since 1967. DeSantis targeted Disney last year after its public criticism of his so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which banned the discussion of gender identity and transexuality in all state public schools from kindergarten to third grade, and regulates discussion on the topics in all grades.
The Florida state legislature is set to take control of the Reedy Creek Improvement District in June this year. State lawmakers will convene this week to discuss a bill that would give DeSantis authority to appoint a five-member council that oversees the district. The ultimate fate of the fight may depend on Governor DeSantis’ plans for the 2024 presidential election. He is widely expected to make a bid for the Republican nomination this year to run against former president Donald Trump. If DeSantis chooses to run for president, he will be required to resign his gubernatorial position and the Disney fight would no longer be in his hands.
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
MANAGING EDITOR: LUKE MOCHERMAN
PHOTO CREDIT: KESQ