Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida fired back at Republican critics of his efforts to rein in big businesses, calling them “corporatists.”
DeSantis signed legislation May 2 that prohibited state agencies and local governments from considering Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors when issuing bonds, barred banks from considering “social credit” when making loan decisions and prohibited discrimination on the basis of political, social or religious ideology. Businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, former Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and former President Donald Trump have criticized DeSantis, a potential 2024 candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, over the feud with Disney that started after DeSantis signed parental rights legislation in March 2022 over the company’s opposition.
Gov. Ron DeSantis wants the Florida Legislature to enact new legislation to ensure that Walt Disney World loses its self-governing status.
DeSantis held a news conference in Lake Buena Vista on Monday to give an update on the Reedy Creek Improvement District, which is home to Disney World.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday signed a bill ending the Walt Disney Company’s special self-governing status.
“Allowing a corporation to control its own government is bad policy, especially when the corporation makes decisions that impact an entire region,” DeSantis said in an announcement about the new law, which came largely in response to Disney’s advocacy against Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill, called the “Don’t say gay bill” by critics.
Disney’s autonomous status and several other projects will be tackled by the Florida Legislature in a special session starting Monday and scheduled to end on Feb. 17.
House Speaker Paul Renner, R-Palm Coast, and Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples, issued the proclamation on Friday.
A lawsuit filed be residents of Orange and Osceola counties against Gov. Ron DeSantis in the wake of the Governor’s battle with Disney has been struck down.
Chief United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida Cecilia Maria Altonaga Tuesday issued her order summarily dismissing the lawsuit, which challenged DeSantis after he stripped Reedy Creek, home to Disney’s theme park, of its special status.
The latest escalation in the feud between Governor DeSantis and the Walt Disney Company over the Parental Rights in Education bill involves the possibility of repealing a law that gives Disney special governing privileges.
The Reedy Creek Improvement District (RCID) was formed in 1967 to serve the interests of Disney by a special Act of the Florida Legislature and subsequently validated by the Florida Supreme Court.
The arrangements allow Disney to shape the park environment without government oversight.
Richard Foglesong, a Rollins College professor, told the Washington Post that “It’s legal magic. The Reedy Creek government can regulate land use, provide police and fire services, license the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages, build roads, lay sewer lines, construct waste-treatment plants, carry out flood projects–even build an airport or nuclear plant, all without local or state approval.”