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BIZNOB: Florida governor signs bill stripping Disney of special status

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Friday signed a bill that strips Walt Disney of self-governing authority at its Orlando-area parks in retaliation for its opposition to a new law that limits the teaching of LGBTQ issues in schools.

The Republican-controlled legislature approved the bill, which will eliminate the special governing jurisdiction that allows the company to operate Walt Disney World Resort as its own city. Within the 25,000-acre tract, it operates four theme parks, two water parks and 175 miles of roadway.

Disney’s special status “was really an aberration,” DeSantis said at a news conference where he signed the bill into law. “No individual or no company in Florida is treated this way.”

Disney did not immediately comment on the bill’s signing.

While the financial impact on the company and the state is uncertain, the change could alter how Disney operates its sprawling Central Florida empire and sour the close relationship it has enjoyed with the state for more than 50 years.

The governor on Friday said Disney would pay more taxes as a result of the law but did not elaborate.

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