Florida lawmakers stripped Walt Disney of its special self-governing status amid a political clash between the company and the governor.
The status gave Disney powers to act as its own government within the outer limits of Orange and Osceola counties.
The bill passed the state Senate with a vote of 23-16 and sailed through the state’s House of Representatives by a vote count of 70-38.
Republican Governor Ron DeSantis is locked in a public feud with Disney over the company’s denouncement of Florida’s HB 1557 law last month. Dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” the bill limits early education teachings on sexual orientation or gender identity.
At the urging of DeSantis, the state House passed a bill that would rid the company of its near-total power over the special district where its theme park is located, a deal signed in 1967 between the state and the Walt Disney Company.
Governor DeSantis had previously made it clear he will sign the measure into law. Following the vote, Disney’s special district will be dissolved on 1 June, 2023.
Dissolving the district would mean Reedy Creek employees and infrastructure would be absorbed by the counties, which would then become responsible for all municipal services.
The proposal was first introduced Tuesday by Republican state Sen. Jennifer Bradley, but opponents say it’s really driven by DeSantis.