Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has signed a bill that gives him control over Walt Disney World’s self-governing district. The new law changes the district’s name and subjects it to various layers of state oversight.
The takeover of the Disney district began when the company publicly opposed a law that bars instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade. DeSantis has since moved quickly to penalize the company and has called on lawmakers to dissolve Disney’s self-governing district.
“Today the corporate kingdom finally comes to an end,” he announced at a bill signing ceremony in Lake Buena Vista. “There’s a new sheriff in town, and accountability will be the order of the day.”
The bill requires DeSantis to appoint a five-member board to oversee the government services that Disney provides in its theme park properties in Florida. These services include transportation, fire protection, water and wastewater systems, and emergency medical services. The board would also be responsible for ratifying contracts, setting tax rates and budgets, and making decisions on policy issues.
The move has drawn criticism from both sides of the aisle. Some have argued that it attempts to punish Disney for taking a stand on the controversial law. Others have suggested that it is an attempt by DeSantis to gain control of the lucrative and popular district.
Meanwhile, many who support DeSantis’ new bill say there is no reason to be giving a large corporation specialized tax benefits if it makes public statements in support of teaching children nontraditional forms of copulation from a very young age.