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Florida lawmakers consider stripping Disney of its power of self-government

Two Floridian powers clash again. On Monday, Governor Ron DeSantis spoke about Disney in what became the latest development in an ongoing battle. The back-and-forth comes after the company denounced the state’s new “Don’t Say Gay” law, as critics call it. This week, lawmakers said they were considering stripping Disney of some of its power in the state. Years before Cinderella Castle opened, Walt Disney himself proposed to state legislators that Disney World have authority over the territory. Months after his death in December 1966, the Governor and Legislature in 1967 granted the society, under the leadership of Walt’s brother Roy, the creation of the Reedy Creek Improvement District, to govern the property that would eventually become Disney World. But now Disney’s independence is under the microscope following the company’s denunciation of Florida’s new ‘Parental Rights in Education’ law, or the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law. “. In a tweet, State Rep. Spencer Roach, who represents the North Fort Myers area, wrote that lawmakers have already met twice to discuss repealing the Reedy Creek Improvement Act. He said, “If Disney wants to embrace the woke ideology, it seems appropriate that they should be regulated by Orange County.” On Friday, DeSantis said he supports lawmakers’ review of Disney’s power. “They basically put this one company on a pedestal and treated it differently, not only than other companies, but even other theme parks,” DeSantis said. Under Florida law, Reedy Creek landowners, like Disney, can regulate their own water, electricity, and emergency services. DeSantis said their power doesn’t end there. “I was shocked to see some of the things. They can build their own nuclear power plant. Is there any other private company in the state that can just build a nuclear power plant on their own?” to do things that no one else can do. So I think they’re right to look at that and reevaluate and have a level playing field for everybody I think that’s way better than basically to allow a company to be a law on itself.” So what are the chances of Florida dethroning Disney? “Right now, I would say, it’s more talking than doing. Surprise me,” said Aubrey Jewett, a UCF political science professor. “If I were Disney, I would definitely take this threat seriously.” He said this battle between DeSantis and Disney could get a lot uglier. before it gets better. just, to me, shocking and usual to see the head of disney and the governor of florida shoot each other. and i haven’t seen anything like it in florida politics for 30 years let me study it,” Jewett said. As for what happens next with the Reedy Creek Improvement District, the governor said it was up to the Florida legislature to decide. “I as governor could be presented with changes to that, and I think I said I would be receptive to that, but ultimately the legislature would have to move on,” said DeSantis. WESH 2 News has contacted Disney. The company has not responded, but in a previous statement it pledged to have the Parental Rights in Education Act repealed or struck down by the courts.

Two Floridian powers clash again.

On Monday, Governor Ron DeSantis spoke about Disney in what became the latest development in an ongoing battle. The back-and-forth comes after the company denounced the state’s new “Don’t Say Gay” law, as critics call it.

This week, lawmakers said they were considering stripping Disney of some of its power in the state.

Years before Cinderella Castle opened, Walt Disney himself proposed to state legislators that Disney World have authority over the territory. Months after his death in December 1966, the Governor and Legislature in 1967 granted the company, under the leadership of Walt’s brother Roy, the creation of the Reedy Creek Improvement District, to govern the property that would eventually become DisneyWorld.

But now Disney’s independence is under the microscope following the company’s denunciation of Florida’s new “parental rights in education” law, or the “Don’t Say Gay” law.

In a tweet, State Rep. Spencer Roach, who represents the North Fort Myers area, wrote that lawmakers have already met twice to discuss repealing the Reedy Creek Improvement Act.

He said, “If Disney wants to embrace the woke ideology, it seems appropriate that they be regulated by Orange County.”

On Friday, DeSantis said he supports lawmakers’ review of Disney’s power.

“They basically put this one company on a pedestal and treated it differently, not just from other companies, but even from other theme parks,” DeSantis said.

Under Florida law, Reedy Creek landowners, like Disney, can regulate their own water, electric, and emergency services. DeSantis said their power doesn’t end there.

“I was shocked to see some of the stuff in there. They can build their own nuclear power plant. Is there any other private company in the state that can build a nuclear power plant by itself? ” he said. “They are able to do certain things that no one else is able to do. So I think they’re right to look at that and re-evaluate and have a level playing field for everybody I think that’s a lot better than allowing a company to be a law on it -same.

So what are the chances of Florida dethroning Disney?

“Right now I would say it’s more talking than doing. But that said, this governor and this legislature would not surprise me,” said Aubrey Jewett, professor of political science at UCF. “If I were Disney, I would definitely take this threat seriously.”

He said this battle between DeSantis and Disney could get a lot uglier before it gets better.

“It’s just, to me, shocking and customary to see the head of Disney and the Governor of Florida shoot each other. And I haven’t seen anything like it in Florida politics in the 30 years I’ve studied it. “said Jewett.

As for what happens next with the Reedy Creek Improvement District, the governor said it’s up to the Florida legislature to decide.

“I as governor could be presented with changes to that, and I think I said I would be receptive to that, but ultimately the legislature would have to move forward,” DeSantis said.

WESH 2 News has contacted Disney. The company has not responded, but in a previous statement it pledged to have the Parental Rights in Education Act repealed or struck down by the courts.

Teresa R. Cabrera

The author Teresa R. Cabrera