Gov. Ron DeSantis Expands Session To Consider Changing Disney Status

At the behest of Governor Ron DeSantis, Florida lawmakers will consider repealing the governing structure for Disney’s Florida properties, which could end special privileges the company has long enjoyed in the Sunshine State.

DeSantis widened the scope of a special legislative session that began Tuesday on redistricting, so that lawmakers “also will be considering termination of all special districts that were enacted in Florida prior to 1968,” DeSantis said.

Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement District – spanning two counties and 25,000 acres – was created by the Legislature in 1967. It gives the company control over what happens on Disney property, including roads, water and electrical systems in a 38.5-square-mile area covering four theme parks, two water parks, more than 40,000 hotel rooms and a slew of restaurants and retail stores.

DeSantis’ move appears to be a possible effort to punish Disney after the company’s CEO spoke out and lobbied against legislation officially known as the Parental Rights in Education act. Critics have refered to it as after the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

The controversial legislation states that “Classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.”

LGBTQ rights organizations say the bill could discriminate against gay and transgender individuals.

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