DeSantis signed the law that strips Disney of the right to run its own district in Florida

Ron DeSantis Disney

It is already law. After months of debate in Tallahassee and in the media, Governor Ron DeSantis signed legislation this morning that strips the Disney company of the right to self-government in the district in which it has its amusement parks, in the center of Florida.

The signing was done at a public ceremony at the Ready Creek Fire Station in Lake Buenavista, very close to the Disney district.

“Allowing a corporation to have its own government is bad policy, especially when that corporation makes decisions that affect an entire region. This law ends Disney’s self-governing status, making Disney have to live by the same rules we all live by, making sure Disney pays its debts and taxes, as we all do,” DeSantis said.

For decades, Disney had had a special status in central Florida (one of the reasons the company decided to settle in the state), where they could make minor decisions internally. From now on, a committee will make those decisions, but the difference is that it is the governor who will choose those five people.

To ensure less interference from Disney in the committee, the law determines that no member of the committee could have been related to the company in the last three years.

The fight between DeSantis and Disney began with the Parental Rights law, popularly known as “Don’t Say Gay”, which prohibits sex education in the state for children under the age of eight unless the parents specifically request it. Initially, Disney did not speak out against the law, but after a couple of weeks in which several of its employees threatened to strike if the company did not oppose the legislation, Disney as a corporation came out to confront DeSantis.

When Disney criticized the law and the governor, DeSantis asked lawmakers to develop a new rule to change the rules of the game for the Disney district in the state. Since then there has been a highly publicized fight, which culminated in the signing of the law this morning.

Having a self-governing district allowed Disney to issue its own bonds, change zoning rules, and control its own fire department and infrastructure services, among other advantages. The law doesn’t necessarily change all of this, leaving your financial and debt skills intact. But the issue is that they will no longer be members of Disney making the decisions, but people targeted by DeSantis.

Disney had promised Florida a futuristic city in its district, with state-of-the-art public transportation, that never materialized. On the contrary, the last change happened in 1982 when they built the last of the theme parks.