On Monday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis fulfilled a promise when he signed a bill to end Disney’s self-governing power and place the media giant under the control of a state board. At a news conference held minutes outside of Disney World DeSantis said, “Since the 1960s, they’ve enjoyed privileges unlike any company or individual in the state of Florida has ever enjoyed. They had exemptions from laws that everyone else had to follow. They were able to get huge amounts of benefits without paying their fair share of taxes.” Before signing the bill the governor told reporters to check their watches so they knew “what time the corporate kingdom came to an end.”
“How do you give one theme park its own government and then treat all of the other theme parks differently?” he asked. “So, we believe that that was not good policy. We believe that being joined at the hip with this one California-based company was not something that was justifiable or sustainable.”
Disney came under the ire of DeSantis last year, after the company publicly opposed a new parental rights law in the state. DeSantis said that Disney lied about the contents of the law and stated that the companies vow to fight it was completely unacceptable. In response, he dissolved Walt Disney World’s special governing power in the state.
A DeSantis spokesperson told Fox, “We will have an even playing field for businesses in Florida, and the state certainly owes no special favors to one company. Disney’s debts will not fall on the taxpayers of Florida.”
“My signature will also end Disney’s exemption from Florida building code and Florida fire prevention code. It will end Disney’s exemption from state regulatory reviews and approval,” DeSantis said of the bill.