Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law a bill Friday to end a law allowing entertainment giant Disney to operate as the local government in the area where it built the Orlando theme park.
The legislative change, which was passed by the state parliament this week, comes as a result of a political row between the Republican leader and the company in recent weeks.
DeSantis in March passed a law banning the teaching of subjects related to sexual orientation and gender identity in elementary schools.
The decision, part of a culture battle waged by Republican leaders in the United States, did not elicit an immediate response from Disney, which initially declined to comment on Florida’s education law, where it employs about 75,000 people.
But widespread criticism of its silence on the issue has prompted the company’s CEO, Bob Chappk, to condemn the measure and suspend political donations in the state.
These statements infuriated DeSantis and prompted swift approval to withdraw Disney’s special status, which will take effect in June 2023.
“(Disney) is a company based in Burbank, California, and it is using its economic power to attack my parents in my state. Like tease and let’s fight itThe governor announced when the law was signed, according to NBC.
A special Disney district, the Reedy Creek Improvement District, was approved in 1967 by Florida members of Congress to facilitate the construction of Walt Disney World near Orlando.
The park occupies an area of 100 square kilometers and includes two towns and land in Orange and Osceola counties in the center of the state.
Under the agreement, Disney runs the area as if it were a local government, collecting taxes and ensuring basic public services such as garbage collection, water treatment, etc.
The decision to abolish the special status raised doubts about the future of the region in which it is located.
Under state law, if the special territory is dissolved, its assets and debts will be transferred to the local governments surrounding the territory.
“This could transfer $2 billion in Disney debt to taxpayers,” Democratic Senator Linda Stewart wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.
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