DeSantis strikes new blow at Disney: legislation to end company's self-governance

Florida's governor responded to the entertainment giant's attempt to retain its power and announced that they would live "under the same laws as everyone else."

The war between Ron DeSantis and Disney continues. Just a few weeks ago the entertainment giant managed to evade the control of the oversight board appointed by Florida's governor, but DeSantis was quick to strike back. He did so by announcing on Monday that he would set a bill in motion, agreed upon by state House and Senate leaders, to "formally nullify" the agreement between the Walt Disney Company and the Reedy Creek District.

The proposal, which could be formally introduced next week, aims to take away Disney's ability to self-govern, a power that the company was able to maintain thanks to its "special deals," DeSantis said at his press conference in Lake Buena Vista:

Disney made special deals to circumvent that whole process. They controlled the board. It was basically a legal fiction in which they negotiated with themselves to give themselves a self-governing status. That is in direct defiance of the will of the people of Florida.

This did not sit well with the governor of Florida which is why DeSantis decided to create a bill that will have the ability to override what Disney did shortly before its privileges were suspended in order to maintain its ability to self-govern: "I will not allow Disney to have its own government in Central Florida. They are going to live under the same laws as everyone else."

DeSantis also announced that he will impose new taxes on the entertainment giant. According to his press conference, Walt Disney World's monorail, transportation systems and attractions have been able to evade external inspections. However, the new regulations to be implemented by DeSantis will address this exception and, in addition, impose enhanced oversight to ensure that they comply with all measures in place.

Walt Disney World: DeSantis' new state prison?

Ron DeSantis, in a flippant tone, also issued a threat to Walt Disney World. During his speech in Lake Buena Vista, he commented that had never thought about the land on which the amusement park is located until now.

If Disney tries to skirt the rules again, DeSantis could retaliate further and build a new state amusement park or even a prison on the land where the mouse company's well-known amusement park is located. This was stated by the governor of Florida during his press conference:

So, if you look at this whole special district, well, Disney Corporation obviously owns a lot, but the district owns other lands. And you know, frankly, I wasn't even thinking about that land. Oh, but now that I think about it, now people are saying, 'Well, what should we do with this land' [...] People have said, 'You know, maybe, maybe have another one, maybe create a state park, maybe try to do more amusement parks.' Someone even said, like, maybe you need another state prison. Who knows? I mean, I think the possibilities are endless.