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House passes bill to dissolve Disney’s self-governing status

Park guests enter the Magic Kingdom during the reopening of Walt Disney World, Saturday, July 11, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is closer to ending Disney’s special municipal status in the state after the House voted Thursday to abolish their autonomous region near Orlando.

In a proclamation issued on earlier this week, DeSantis asked the State Legislature to consider ending the Reedy Creek Improvement District which allows Disney to operate the property on which its Orlando area parks sit as a city.

Brevard County Rep. Randy Fine filed HB-3C on that day which “Dissolves certain independent special districts” which were established prior to 1968.

Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement District was established in 1967.

The bill passed 70-80 and now heads to DeSantis for his signature.

Five other special districts will also be dissolved, and Disney is also no longer granted immunity from Florida’s ‘Big Tech Law’ which allows Floridians to sue tech companies that attempt to censor their online speech.

In a fundraising email to supporters DeSantis said. “As governor, I was elected to put the people of Florida first, and I will not allow a woke corporation based in California to run our state.”

Once signed into law, Disney’s parks would fall under the purview of Orange and Osceola Counties, which the properties straddle, as of June 1, 2023

Tensions between Florida’s governor and California based Walt Disney Co. have been mounting of late following the passage of the state’s Parental Rights in Education bill which critics call the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill.

The bill forbids sex and gender education in grades K-3 in Florida public schools.

Disney criticized DeSantis for signing the bill and in response paused political donations in the state.

DeSantis called the company ‘Woke Disney’ and accused them of echoing Democrat party propaganda.

Disney’s parks employ roughly 80,000 people in Florida.

The special session runs through April 22.

Read the text of Rep. Fine’s bill here.