DeSantis strikes back at Disney World with new legislation

Gov. Ron DeSantis and Florida lawmakers ratcheted up stress on Walt Disney World on Monday by saying laws that may use the regulatory powers of Florida authorities to exert unprecedented oversight on the park resort’s rides and monorail.

Lawmakers will introduce a invoice in coming weeks that will finish an exemption for Disney parks with regards to journey inspections by the Florida Division of Agriculture and Shopper Providers, DeSantis stated at a information convention close to Disney World.

The agriculture company is chargeable for inspecting amusement rides in Florida, however an exception was carved out for the state’s largest theme park operators, corresponding to Disney and Common Locations & Experiences. Beneath the proposal, the exemption would finish for rides positioned in particular districts, which principally targets simply Disney World.

An emailed inquiry searching for remark was despatched to Disney on Monday.

DeSantis’ announcement was the newest in a tit-for-tat between Disney and the governor that began final 12 months when the leisure large publicly opposed the state’s so-called “Don’t Say Homosexual” laws barring faculty instruction on sexual orientation and gender identification in kindergarten by third grade. In retaliation, Florida lawmakers handed, and DeSantis signed, laws reorganizing Disney World’s company-controlled authorities, permitting the governor to nominate the 5 members of the Board of Supervisors as a substitute of Disney.

Final month, the brand new DeSantis-appointees claimed their Disney-controlled predecessors pulled a quick one by stripping the brand new board of most powers and giving Disney management over design and building on the theme park resort earlier than the brand new members might take their seats.

DeSantis on Monday stated the settlement between Disney and former supervisors was unlawful, claiming it was self-dealing and correct advance discover wasn’t given earlier than the previous board permitted it, and that lawmakers had the authority to revoke it.

The governor additionally recommended the brand new board ought to promote the district’s utility with a view to pay down the district’s $1 billion money owed.

In taking over Disney, DeSantis has superior his repute as a tradition warrior prepared to battle political opponents and wield the facility of state authorities to perform political objectives. It’s a technique he’s prone to observe by his anticipated 2024 run for the White Home.

Considerably tongue-in-cheek, DeSantis recommended Monday that the brand new board or lawmakers might take different actions with the Disney’s 27,000 acres (10,926 hectares) in central Florida, corresponding to constructing a state park, a competing theme park or a jail.

“I believe the probabilities are limitless,” DeSantis stated.

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