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Florida Governor Empowers New Board to Overturn Disney Agreements

Florida Governor Empowers New Board to Overturn Disney Agreements

The Republican governor and the entertainment titan are at odds once again after Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a measure into law on Friday giving a new board under his leadership the authority to revoke development agreements it had inked with Disney with its previous body.

According to the legislation, which was mostly approved along party lines by the Republican-controlled legislature, the DeSantis-appointed Central Tourism Oversight District Board will have the authority to renege on any agreements made up to three months prior to the board’s establishment.

Walt Disney Co. chose not to respond.

The legislature effectively took jurisdiction away from Disney and gave it to DeSantis by establishing the board in February to take the role of the Disney-controlled Reedy Creek Improvement District to manage development in the 25,000 acres (10,120 hectares) that surround Walt Disney World.

The Republican governor and Disney, the largest employer in central Florida, have been at odds since Disney criticised a new state legislation that forbade teaching about sexual orientation and gender identity to younger children in the classroom last year.

DeSantis, who is anticipated to announce his bid for the presidency of the United States in the upcoming weeks, has consistently criticised “woke Disney” in public speeches and labelled it as liberal.

The corporation pushed through modifications to the special tax district agreement before DeSantis’ appointees assumed control of the board, limiting the new body’s authority for decades.

The agreement was deemed unlawful by the new monitoring board in April after it was determined that Disney’s plans for a prospective expansion of Disney World did not adhere to state law.

The same day, Disney filed a complaint in federal court accusing DeSantis of improperly using his position of authority to retaliate against the business for exercising its right to free expression.

In retaliation, the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District board filed a lawsuit in state court, claiming it was an attempt to invalidate “backroom deals” that favoured Disney.

Compared to an 8 percent increase in the S&P 500 index, Disney’s stock has increased by over 16 percent so far this year.

Source: skift

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