Following a report yesterday that some lawmakers were looking into repealing the 1967 Reedy Creek Improvement Act, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis weighed in on the matter in a press conference this afternoon in West Palm Beach.
In his response, DeSantis pointed to a special exception from a 2021 law that Disney “carved out in the 11th hour” that prevented Disney from facing any penalties under SB 7072. The bill, which aimed to “prohibit a social media platform from willfully deplatforming a candidate”, didn’t seem to affect Disney at all, but Republican state Rep. Blaise Ingoglia said that the amendment was added to ensure Disney+ wasn’t caught up in the bill.
DeSantis went on to dance around addressing the specific Reedy Creek Improvement Act, but said that “as a matter of first principle, I don’t support special privileges in law, just because a company is powerful”.
DeSantis went on to say that he doesn’t believe that Disney holds much power in the state. However, Disney is the largest employer in Florida, and arguably the leader of Florida’s essential tourism industry. DeSantis fell short of saying that we would approve of a repeal of Disney’s special taxing district but ended by saying “you should not have one organization that gets to dictate [policy], and [Disney has] done that for many years. If that stops now, and it should, that would be a good thing for Florida.” He said that “it was probably never appropriate” for Disney to “govern themselves”, and added that “it’s certainly not appropriate now at this point”.
Disney has not responded to DeSantis’ remarks.
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