Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill Friday to end a law that allows entertainment giant Disney to act as local government in the area where it established its Orlando theme park.
The legislative change, approved by the state’s parliament this week, is the result of a political dispute between the Republican leader and the company in recent weeks.
DeSantis passed a law in March banning the teaching of subjects related to sexual orientation and gender identity in elementary schools.
The decision, part of a cultural battle waged by Republican leaders in the United States, did not provoke an immediate reaction from Disney, which initially declined to comment on Florida’s education law, where it employs about 75,000 people. Is.
But widespread criticism for his silence on the matter has led to the company’s chief executive, Bob Chapek, condemning the measure and suspending political donations to the state.
These statements angered DeSantis and prompted swift approval for the withdrawal of Disney’s special status, which would take effect in June 2023.
“(Disney) is a company based in Burbank, California, and it uses its economic power to attack the parents of my state. like a tease and let’s fight it“, according to the NBC network, announced the governor when signing the law.
Disney’s special district, the Reedy Creek Improvement District, was approved by Florida Congressmen in 1967 to facilitate the construction of Walt Disney World Park near Orlando.
The park occupies an area of 100 km² and includes two cities and land in Orange and Osciola counties in the center of the state.
Under the agreement, Disney manages the district as if it were a local government, collecting taxes and guaranteeing essential public services such as garbage collection, water treatment, and more.
The decision to revoke the special status has raised doubts about the future of the region where it is located.
Under state law, if the particular district is dissolved, its assets and debts will be transferred to the local governments that surround the area.
“It could give a $2 billion Disney loan to taxpayers” from Orange and Ossola, Democratic Senator Linda Stewart tweeted Wednesday.