On Thursday, the Florida Senate passed a bill enabling a board appointed by Governor Ron DeSantis, to nullify an effort by Disney to keep control of their special district. This move is the latest in the fight between DeSantis and the woke company which many have called to boycott. The two parties also have dueling lawsuits filed against each other in regards to the handling of this special district. But today’s decision by Florida lawmakers gives the advantage to the conservative leader.
The bill, which now awaits DeSantis’ approval to become law, allows the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District board to cancel agreements signed up to three months prior to its establishment. The board was formed in February by the Florida legislature and replaced the Reedy Creek Improvement District, which previously oversaw the 25,000 acres of the Walt Disney World resort.
Disney has yet to respond to the bill but they will not be happy with it.
Last week, Disney filed a lawsuit which alleges DeSantis orchestrated a “targeted campaign of government retaliation” which violates the company’s free speech rights. The company argued that DeSantis’ Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, which strips them of the power to govern the land around their parks, is not legal and should be made void. In the suit, Disney also argues that DeSantis’ board was made in retaliation for the company speaking out against Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill, also known as the “Don’t Say Gay Bill.”
As DeSantis prepares to announce his presidential candidacy, he has persistently targeted “woke Disney” in public statements. Will the fight against a company many conservatives associate with likes of Bud Light and ESPN pay off for the governor? No matter what, it has garnered him plenty of attention in the media.