Remember that time liberals suggested Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis would backtrack on punishing the Walt Disney Co. for trashing the state’s new parental rights’ law?
Yeah, that’s not happening, just as the Republican governor’s staff said.
On Friday, The Free Press reported that Osceola County, home to part of the land for Disney’s self-governing district, announced a plan to petition the Legislature to dissolve the Reedy Creek Improvement District, which has governed Disney’s sprawling community through home rule since 1967.
Taryn Fenske, a spokeswoman for DeSantis, said, “The corporate kingdom has come to an end. Under the proposed legislation, Disney will no longer control its own government, will live under the same laws as everyone else, will be responsible for their outstanding debts, and will pay their fair share of taxes.”
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The actual public notice from Osceola County said the county would seek a measure “removing and revising powers” and “increasing state oversight, accountability, and transparency” of the Reedy Creek district. DeSantis reportedly backs the move.
And since Republicans hold supermajorities in both halves of the Legislature, it’s likely a done deal.
Last month, when a report surfaced that DeSantis and GOP lawmakers were looking for a way to allow Disney to wiggle out of the political death penalty for Reedy Creek, a DeSantis spokesperson responded, “Governor DeSantis does not make ‘U-turns.’”
It’s unclear how Osceola’s request affects the other part of Disney in Orange County.
In a statement issued Friday, left-wing Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said, “For over 50 years, Walt Disney World has been an outstanding community partner to Central Florida. … We look forward to working with the Reedy Creek Improvement District for many years to come. Any statements made by state officials to suggest that Orange County would use the dissolution of the Reedy Creek Improvement District as a pretext to raise taxes on its residents is reprehensive and baseless.”
DeSantis and the Republican-led Legislature moved to strip Disney’s special district of its authority last spring. The bill gutting Reedy Creek’s authority takes effect on July 1.
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The governor and lawmakers took action after Disney denounced efforts by Tallahassee to stop the sexual grooming of children in the state’s public schools.
DeSantis and the Legislature adopted the Parental Rights in Education law, which prohibits school districts and classroom teachers from implementing lesson plans based on sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-3.
Disney, through former CEO Bob Chapek, said the law should have never passed and vowed to overturn it in court or get it repealed by the Legislature.
Since that happened, DeSantis won re-election by nearly 20 points, and Republicans expanded their previous majorities to supermajorities, meaning they control at least two-thirds of both houses.
Meanwhile, as The Free Press has reported, Disney’s stock price has crashed, dropping nearly 45% during 2022, and several of the company’s major animated films targeting kids have gone bust, thanks to heavy does of LGBTQ ideology.