On Tuesday, several Republican legislators sought to extend a special session of the Legislature to discuss redistricting to take a shot at one of the state’s largest and strongest corporate entities: The Walt Disney Company. During a morning media briefing in The Villages, Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis said that the state would be broadening the scope of what lawmakers will be examining this week. “Yes, they will consider the congressional map, but they will also consider the termination of any special districts that were established in Florida before 1968 — which includes the Reedy Creek Improvement District.”
In addition to being a special taxing district, the Reedy Creek Improvement District also serves as the ruling body for Walt Disney World Resort. It was established by state legislators in 1967 and consisted of 39 square miles of land, two communities, and undeveloped property in Osceola and Orange counties.Read More »
The statement by Governor Ron DeSantis appeared to come as a shock to both Democratic and Republican state legislators, with several legislators still searching for information as of Tuesday afternoon. It was revealed that Disney would suspend political donations in Florida following the passage of the Parental Rights in Education Act, often known as the “don’t say gay” law, which was the target of the attack.
Sexual orientation and Gender identity education are prohibited in prekindergarten, and such dialogues must be “age-appropriate” in subsequent years, according to the company’s efforts to undermine the legislation.
Following the measure’s passage, The Walt Disney Business’s CEO, Bob Chapek, issued an apology to employees for the firm’s management of its stance on the bill and said that the company would suspend political funding in the state. Immediately following Chapek’s remarks, DeSantis said, “I think it was fundamentally dishonest and, in my opinion, crossed the line.” “For Disney to come out and place a statement saying that the bill should never have been passed and that they are going to work tirelessly to repeal it, I think that was fundamentally dishonest but, in my opinion, crossed the line,” DeSantis said. The Walt Disney Company did not respond to a request for a remark on the special session by the afternoon of Tuesday.
Sprowls Mentioned That This Idea Has Been Percolating For Some Time.
Because of the large number of taxation districts in Florida, House Speaker Chris Sprowls supported the Reedy Creek Improvement District’s repealing, claiming that the House had been considering the action for a long time. According to him, Disney is “harnessing” its philosophy to “control all that happens in society.” That is completely wrong… How long do you intend to be special?” The company’s actions were “unprecedented,” according to him. He stated that the state is accustomed to businesses abusing their position, but that “what’s most concerning about Disney is that they did not have a dispute with what we did in terms of public policy.” A large number of people are in dispute about policy. They took advantage of their stature to spread what we perceive to be a deception that the bill accomplished something that it did not do.”
The state would have one year to abolish special districts constituted before November 1968 and not reauthorized by state law. (In November 1968, the state passed a constitution.)
A House staff analysis determined that the legislation would apply to six special districts, including the Bradford County Development Authority, the Sunshine Water Control District in Broward County, the Reedy Creek Improvement District, the Eastpoint Water, and Sewer District in Franklin; and the Hamilton County Development Authority. However, lawmakers can negotiate with Disney and other districts to overturn the repeal while it is still in force. This bill indeed has a specific goal. An attack on Walt Disney Co. The bill’s House sponsor, Rep. Randy Fine, R-Palm Bay, asked, “You want to know why?” It is because they have been granted self-governance in all of the other companies in the state.
Social Media Crackdowns Are Also Being Discussed In The Current Crisis Context.
Additionally, DeSantis stated he intended to change the 2021 special session provision to take down “Big Tech” social media corporations for banning too many conservative accounts in his proclamation introducing special districts to this week’s special session agenda. Disney received a special hollowed in that bill thanks to the efforts of DeSantis’ staff last year.
DeSantis pushed hard for a bill that would allow Floridians to sue giant digital corporations if they were blocked or expelled from a social media platform. However, it has been halted in the courts since then. Last-minute amendments exempting firms that own amusement parks, which the House sponsor said was done so that comments left on Disney would not be subject to the rule, were highlighted by the judge.
A hearing is set on April 28 in the state’s appeal of the ruling. “I think we’re going to win,” Florida Gov. Rick Scott stated. As of Tuesday, the carve-out had been abolished, effectively erasing the previous year’s good deed that legislators had done for Disney.
While DeSantis was fighting a battle with Covid, Disney’s on-site staff were obliged to be vaccinated by late October. The governor responded by announcing that the corporation would be fined. Afterward, Disney dropped its mandate that all workers be vaccinated, and it was never punished for this decision. “Stepping up and ensuring that we make the sunset or termination on those special districts happen,” DeSantis said at a press conference on Tuesday, was a key part of his thanks to Sprowls and Senate President Wilton Simpson.
Democrats in several House committees expressed their displeasure with the hurried nature of the bill’s introduction, which came below five hours before being scheduled to be considered. Nonetheless, Republican lawmakers backed the bill, arguing that Disney and its “woke” culture needed to be confronted. In the past, Disney and the state of Florida had a terrific relationship. We used to get along well with them when we were on the same team. They were given special treatment because of our common experiences and accomplishments,” said Republican Rep. Jackie Toledo of Tampa. A shameful Disney betrayed us, and the firm Walt Disney started—which was once a symbol of family values has now been turned into a lab of gender identification social experimentation by a wakeful mob of liberal fanatics.” Sprowls expects that the new job will necessitate a Thursday adjournment for legislators.
Explore Games and Apps