Florida lawmakers will return to the state Capitol in Tallahassee next week to finalize their efforts to strip the Walt Disney Company of its special governing powers, the latest round of the yearlong feud between Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis and the entertainment giant.
House and Senate leaders informed lawmakers Friday afternoon that the legislature will hold a special session starting Monday that will include changes to the Reedy Creek Improvement District, the elected board that effectively gives Disney control over the land in and around its central Florida theme parks.
DeSantis put Reedy Creek in his sights last year after Disney’s then-CEO, Bob Chapek, publicly criticized Florida for passing a bill to restrict certain classroom instruction of sexual orientation and gender identity. DeSantis called lawmakers into a special session last year to dissolve Reedy Creek by mid-2023. However, the state did not have a plan at the time for what came next.
Speaking at a news conference earlier this week, DeSantis laid out a legislative framework for the state to assume control of the district.
“We’re not going to have a corporation controlling its own government; that’s going to be reverted to the state,” DeSantis said. “Disney will not have governing self-governing status anymore. We’re going to make sure that there are no special legal privileges … and then making sure they’re paying their fair share of taxes and paying the debt.”
This story has been updated with additional information.
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