TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Walt will be under their control soon Disney World’s self-governing district after Senate Republicans approved a bill Friday punishing the company over its opposition to the law critics call “Don’t Say Gay.”
The legislation, which now awaits the governor’s signature, would require DeSantis to appoint a five-member board to oversee the government services the district provides in the company’s sprawling properties in Florida.
Vote on Disney The bill closed a special session that was focused on conservative issues of the governor, who used national tensions to gain national star status for his Republican party and become a potential White House candidate.
Session itself was also signaled, although it was called in a hurry and concluded quickly DeSantis’ willingness to leverage the Republican supermajority in the statehouse to accomplish his political goals, a strategy he will continue in the coming months as he builds toward his expected presidential candidacy.
It Disney District takeovers were initiated in the last year. Disney Public opposition “Don’t Say Gay,” This bans instruction in sexual orientation and gender identity from kindergarten to third grade, and any lessons not considered age appropriate.
DeSantis Moved to penalize company. Directed lawmakers to dissolve district at a special legislative session held in April. The start of a closely monitored restructuring process.
In coordination with the governor last week, Republican leaders in the Senate and House ordered that lawmakers return to special sessions to finish the state-takeover of the district.
“This all seems a retaliation by the governor for Disney voicing its support for the LGBTQ community,” Democratic Sen. Linda Stewart said Friday before the bill’s passage.
The measure also changes the district’s name from the Reedy Creek Improvement District To the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District It is subject to different layers of state supervision. Currently, the entities that control them name their board members. Disney.
It leaves intact the district’s financial ability and debt obligations, which addresses a primary concern of nearby governments. It also prevents people who have worked with or contracted with a theme park in the past three years from serving on the district’s new governing board.
The district can issue bonds, provide utilities, zoning and fire protection services to its land by having a separate government. It is criticized by Republicans because it provides a “safe haven” for the republican party. Disney A commercial advantage unmatched by others
“This bill takes an old district and modernized it and updated it,” Fred Hawkins (Republican Rep.) was the bill sponsor. “It took rights away that no corporation should have in being able to construct or have an unfair competitive advantage over its competitors.”
The creation of the district was instrumental in the company’s decision to build near Orlando in the 1960s.
Disney Officials had stated to the state that they intended to construct a futuristic urban center with a transit system. However, the company was unable to decide how the land would be used. Instead of becoming a futuristic city, the second theme park opened in 1982.
On Friday, Republicans in Congress gave final approval to two bills which amount to technical fixes for key issues DeSantis Initiatives regarding voter fraud, immigration. The proposals now move to the governor’s office to be signed into law.
One bill is meant to cut off a legal challenge to the governor’s migrant relocation program, which began last year when DeSantis used taxpayer dollars to fly a group of South American migrants from Texas to the liberal enclave resort island of Martha’s Vineyard.
Because the money was intended to be used for removal of migrants in Florida rather than migrants in another state, legal issues were raised about the expense.
The legislation creates a dedicated program in the governor’s office on migrant relocation and specifies that future flights could move migrants from anywhere in the U.S. The legislation increases the chance of other trips. DeSantis Throughout his journey to the expected 2020 presidential election, he continues to criticize federal border policies.
Republicans have repeatedly said the bill would help migrants by taking them to sanctuary cities and states, while Democrats have slammed the program as a political stunt meant to serve the governor’s political ambitions.
The other proposal is meant to strengthen the prosecutorial power of the governor’s election police unit, clarifying in state law that the statewide prosecutor has authority to prosecute election crimes in federal and state races.
“This ensures fraud will be investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, as it should,” Juan Alfonso Fernandez Barquin, Republican Representative
Some cases related to the election officer unit were dismissed by the judges, who ruled that the state prosecutor lacked the jurisdiction to bring the charges.
DeSantis pushed lawmakers to create the election police unit last year to address Republican concerns about voter fraud, which have proliferated among conservatives following former President Donald Trump’s false claims that he reelection was stolen.
The unit, housed in the governor’s department of state, reviews fraud allegations and conducts preliminary investigations, with a special group of state police officers who pursue violations.
Democrats say the unit’s purpose is to deter people from voting. They also claim it is redundant since voter fraud can be investigated and charged by local prosecutors.
“This is a fear tactic and it’s voter suppression, plain and simple,” Rep. Dianne Hart is a Democrat.
DeSantis The bills will be signed by the president. The lawmakers are due to return to Tallahassee early in March for the start of their regular legislative session. DeSantis Priorities for guns, education and capital punishment, as well as abortion.