Updated Apr 22, 2022 - Politics & Policy

DeSantis signs bill to end Disney's self-governing status

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis delivers remarks at the 2022 CPAC conference at the Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis delivers remarks at the 2022 CPAC conference in Orlando on Feb. 24. Photo: Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Friday signed into law a bill revoking the special status of Reedy Creek, a municipal district operated by Walt Disney Co.

Why it matters: The vote is a victory for Republican governor Ron DeSantis, who for weeks has been battling Disney over the state's controversial Parental Rights in Education Law — dubbed by critics the "Don't Say Gay" law.

  • The measure will have huge tax implications for Disney, AP reports.

Catch up quick: The Florida House of Representatives on Thursday voted to eliminate the special status of Reedy Creek, which was created in 1967 to allow Disney to carry out municipal functions of its own.

The big picture: Disney, facing pressure from employees and fans, last month came out in opposition to DeSantis's law, which bans classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity for students in kindergarten through third grade.

  • DeSantis in response suggested that he would support stripping Disney of the special status that allows it to operate as an independent government in the area surrounding its theme park.

What to watch: The bill will likely take effect in June 2023, the New York Times reports.

Go deeper ... DeSantis declares war on Disney

Editor's note: This story has been updated with details on Gov. Ron DeSantis signing the bill into law.

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