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HomeBusinessRon DeSantis OKs law to cancel Disney's deals with former board

Ron DeSantis OKs law to cancel Disney’s deals with former board


Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Friday signed a bill into law that gives a new board he controls the power to void development agreements its predecessor body signed with Disney — the latest episode in a feud between the conservative governor and the entertainment giant.

Under the bill, which passed the Republican-controlled legislature largely along party lines, the Central Tourism Oversight District Board — whose members are appointed by DeSantis — can cancel any deals signed up to three months before the board’s creation.

Walt Disney declined to comment.

The legislature formed the board in February to replace the Disney-controlled Reedy Creek Improvement District to oversee development in the 25,000 acres surrounding Walt Disney World, effectively wresting control from the company and handing it to DeSantis.

Disney, the largest employer in central Florida, and the Republican governor have been battling since last year when Disney criticized a new state law banning classroom instruction of sexuality and gender identity with younger children.

DeSantis, who is expected to declare his candidacy for president in the coming weeks, has repeatedly attacked “woke Disney” in public remarks, characterizing it as liberal.

Under the bill, the Central Tourism Oversight District Board — whose members are appointed by Ron DeSantis — can cancel any deals signed up to three months before the board’s creation.
AP

Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse statue inside of the Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Fla.
Walt Disney, the largest employer in central Florida, and the Republican governor have been battling since last year.
LightRocket via Getty Images

Before DeSantis’ appointees took over the board, the company pushed through changes to the special tax district agreement that limited the new body’s action for decades.

The new oversight body in April said Disney’s plans for potential expansion of Disney World did not comply with state law, and declared that agreement void.

Disney filed a lawsuit in federal court the same day, accusing DeSantis of illegally using government power to punish the company for exercising its free speech rights.

The Central Florida Tourism Oversight District board responded with its own lawsuit in a state court, saying it sought to void “backroom deals” favorable to Disney.



This story originally appeared on NYPost

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