Florida’s DeSantis Asks Lawmakers To Eliminate Disney World’s Self-Governing Status


Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on April 19 formally asked state lawmakers to take up eliminating Walt Disney World’s self-governing status during a special session that was set to start on Monday.

DeSantis, a Republican, announced the move in a proclamation (pdf), telling members of the Florida House of Representatives and Senate that the state’s updated Constitution in 1968 “generally disfavors” special laws granting privileges to private corporations but does permit creating special districts such as the Reedy Creek Improvement District.

A law passed by Florida legislators in 1967 created the district, which lets Disney run some 25,000 acres in Orange and Osceola counties largely free of outside input.

DeSantis said that “it is necessary” to review all special districts made before 1968 “to ensure that they are appropriately serving the public interest” and to make sure they’re complying with requirements of the updated Constitution.

Additionally, it is in Florida’s interest to win a court battle regarding a separate law that aims to protect people from censorship by social media platforms but a federal judge blocked it in part because Florida law exempts companies that operate a theme park or entertainment complex from being a platform, the proclamation states.

Disney did not respond to a request for comment.

Before the proclamation, the session was to only focus on creating new redistricting maps after DeSantis, a Republican, rejected maps state lawmakers drew in March.

“Yes, they will be considering the congressional map. But they… (Read more)

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