Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law that dissolves Disney’s ability to self-govern after the corporation denounced the so-called don’t say gay bill.
The bill terminates the Reedy Creek Improvement District, a 55-year-old agreement that’s allowed Disney to self-govern its 25,000-acre property in the Orlando area. The move could carry large tax implications for the counties surrounding Disney’s property and will complicate the company's ability to quickly approve building permits and operate its own emergency services.
The move comes after Disney opposed the Florida legislature’s “don’t say gay” bill that bars classroom instruction about sexual orientation or gender identity in kindergarten through third-grade classrooms. The company also paused political donations in the state.
Republicans in the Florida legislature quickly introduced a bill to dissolve the improvement district after DeSantis expanded a special session to allow lawmakers to consider bills to dissolve special districts created before 1968.
Disney did not immediately return a request for comment.
The push to end the district is an escalation of a widespread Republican strategy to engage their base by focusing on issues about race and sexual orientation in school districts across the country.
DeSantis, seen as a likely 2024 presidential candidate, has spent the past two years building a national profile with conservatives by centering culture war issues in Florida policy.