Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis announced on Monday that the state legislature is introducing a bill to revoke a quiet last-minute deal that a Disney-controlled special district board made with the company shortly before a new state-controlled board was set to take over.
The former board signed an agreement to transfer its power to the company on February 8 and the agreement was recorded with the Orange County Comptroller on February 9 — the same day that the Florida House passed legislation that renamed the Reedy Creek Improvement District to the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District and removed Disney’s self-appointed board and replaced it with a board appointed by the governor.
“They [Disney] are not superior to the laws that are enacted by the state of Florida,” DeSantis said during a press conference. “They thought they could create a development agreement that would render everything we did null and void. That’s not going to work, that’s not going to fly.”
The governor said that he has met with leaders in the Republican-controlled House and Senate to make sure that the legislation revokes the agreement and that “the people’s will is established and is upheld.”
DeSantis said that the people of Florida made clear through the state’s recent elections that they did not want to have “one corporation serving as its own government” while everyone else had to play by a different set of rules.
“Whatever rationale there was 60 years ago to do that, clearly, now, we’re in a much different era as a state, we’ve got a lot of competitors that are treated differently, a lot of businesses and individuals treated differently,” DeSantis said. “We don’t want to do that. We want to make sure that Disney lives under the same laws as everybody else.”
#BREAKING: Gov. Ron DeSantis says the legislature will revoke final agreements between Disney and previous board that granted wide-reaching authority
"They were exempt [from rules] everyone else has to follow! […] They exempted the monorail from any safety inspections." pic.twitter.com/txUEgWesIP
— Florida’s Voice (@FLVoiceNews) April 17, 2023
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