DeSantis threatens state control over Disney’s special district
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said on Monday that he wants the state, not local governments, to have control over Disney’s special district as he continues to feud with the entertainment company over its opposition to the education law he signed known by critics as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
DeSantis signed into law last month a bill that strips Disney’s long-held municipal autonomy at its Orlando-based theme parks. The move was undertaken in direct response to Disney’s opposition to Don’t Say Gay.
Disney officials have argued that the company needed its independence to build its own theme park and city, warning that the state of Florida will take on billions in debt if the situation changes.
“I can tell you this, that debt will not end up going to any of these local governments. It’s not going to go to the state government either. It’s going to absolutely be dealt with by [Disney and other businesses] that are currently in that district,” DeSantis said during an appearance at Seminole State College.
“Disney will not control its own government in the state of Florida. Disney will have to follow the same laws that every other company has to follow in the state of Florida,” DeSantis added.
“They will pay their fair share in taxes, and they will be responsible for paying the debts, and so at the end of the day, all we’re doing is putting them on a level playing field with all the other companies in Florida, making sure there are no special privileges, no special deals, but that debt will be honored,” he said.