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DeSantis Signs Bill Ending Disney's Self-Governing Power

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has signed a bill ending Disney’s self-governing power over a massive area surrounding the Disney World theme park and resorts.

Since 1967, Disney had operated its own government covering over 27,000 acres, known as the Reedy Creek Improvement District.

Gov. DeSantis signed the bill on Monday and held a press conference to discuss it.

“Since the 1960s, they’ve enjoyed privileges unlike any company or individual in the state of Florida has ever enjoyed,” DeSantis said during a press conference near Disney World. “They had exemptions from laws that everyone else had to follow. They were able to get huge amounts of benefits without paying their fair share of taxes.”

Just before signing the legislation, the governor told everyone to check their watches to see “what time the corporate kingdom came to an end.”

“How do you give one theme park its own government and then treat all of the other theme parks differently?” DeSantis asked. “So we believe that that was not good policy. We believe that being joined at the hip with this one California-based company was not something that was justifiable or sustainable.”

The theme park giant will now be treated the same way as SeaWorld, according to DeSantis.

According to a report from Fox News, “the bill, HB9, renames the Randy Creek Improvement district, where Disney World is housed, to the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District that may only have term-limited members who are not recent employees or have been contracted by Disney in the past three years.”

“My signature will also end Disney’s exemption from Florida building code and Florida fire prevention code. It will end Disney’s exemption from state regulatory reviews and approval,” DeSantis said of the bill.

As Timcast explained in a previous report, under Florida’s previous law, Disney could control their own water, power, emergency services — and much more.

“I was shocked to see some of the stuff that’s in there. They can do their own nuclear power plant. Is there any other private company in the state that can just build a nuclear power plant on their own?” Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said last year. “They’re able to do certain things that nobody else is able to do. So I think they’re right to be looking at this and reevaluating and having an even playing field for everybody, I think is much better than basically to allow one company to be a law onto itself.”

Disney has become increasingly political, notably making headlines for loud opposition to Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law. The company suspended political donations in the state over it and announced that it would support organizations working to oppose the law.

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