April 22, 2022

 Florida Senate Votes to Strip Disney's Special Status

  • Flyover Country

By: Konrad Holden

In Brief: 
On Thursday, the Florida Senate passed a bill that would undo Disney’s special governing powers over the area where its parks reside. The bill just needs to be signed by Republican Governor Ron DeSantis who has made public comments indicating he would. The company has had the same authority as a county over its park property since 1967.

The Background: 
In May of 1967, Florida Governor Claude Kirk signed the Reedy Creek Improvement Act that gave the Walt Disney Co. the power to govern the 38.7 square miles that would eventually house their world-famous Disneyworld.

On Thursday, the Florida Senate passed a bill removing Disney’s right to govern itself. The bill is likely to be signed by Governor Ron DeSantis.

Disney has recently come out against a new law passed in Florida that prohibits public educators from discussing sexually explicit materials with young children.

Many view the removal of the self-governing rights bill as a backlash to the company's official policy of seeking the repeal of the parental rights bill.

"I think what has happened is there’s a lot of these special privileges that are not justifiable, but because Disney had held so much sway, they were able to sustain a lot of special treatment over the years,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said.

While the bill was being passed in the Senate, Democratic lawmakers could be heard shouting in the background.

Notable Quotes: 

"Look, there’s policy disputes, and that’s fine, but when you're trying to impose a woke ideology on our state, we view that as a significant threat." - Gov. Ron DeSantis

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