DeSantis Teases Revoking Disney's Self-governing Status

DeSantis Teases Revoking Disney's Self-governing Status

Disney and Florida rivalry heats up

Jim McCool
Jim McCool
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April 1, 2022

Disney and the state of Florida have been in an unprecedented standoff that could lead to detrimental changes for Disney.  Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) recently teased the idea of revoking Disney's special privileges to self-govern in the state of Florida.

A 55-year-old law permits the Disney company to govern itself on the company's property in the state of Florida.  The idea of revoking this only comes after Disney has entangled itself with the recently passed HB 1557, or Parental Rights in Education bill, that is now law.

"What I would say as a matter of first principle is I don’t support special privileges in law just because a company is powerful and they’ve been able to wield a lot of power," DeSantis said during a press conference in West Palm Beach, Florida on Thursday.

DeSantis then stated, "I think what has happened is there’s a lot of these special privileges that are not justifiable, but because Disney had held so much sway, they were able to sustain a lot of special treatment over the years."

"I would say any special privileges that are in law I would like to get rid of generally," DeSantis added. "I think in this particular case with Disney, I just don’t think you have very many people in the legislature anymore who are going to be able to defend a lot of what has been done over many years to really have them almost govern themselves in some of these things. That was probably never appropriate to start, but is certainly not appropriate now at this point."

The idea of Florida Republicans responding to Disney's complaints really set sail after HB 1557 author State Rep. Joe Harding (R-22) returned all political contributions he has received from Disney.  This was then followed by Rep. Elizabeth Fetterhoff (R-26).

Disney has since disclosed that they will cease giving any political contributions to Florida lawmakers moving forward, showing an agreement to disagree between Florida politicians and the company.  Expect things to drastically change for Disney in Florida.

Jim McCool

Jim McCool

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