What will happen to Disney World with the bill DeSantis just signed?

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, Fla.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks, Feb. 15, 2023, at Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, Fla. DeSantis has signed a bill to give himself control of Walt Disney World’s self-governing district.

Wilfredo Lee, Associated Press

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has officially ended Walt Disney World’s special district by signing a bill on Monday.

Here’s what we know.

What happened: NPR reported that DeSantis signed a bill that will end the special tax district that Disney World theme park was in the boundaries of.

The special tax district gave the corporation and theme park its own set of privileges, including autonomy in zoning, public functions and its own police and fire department, according to The Guardian.

The BBC reported that this new bill also gives a five-member board, appointed by the state of Florida, the control to give the theme park regulations, “including building and fire prevention codes.”

Details: Some believe that this announcement is a punishment for Disney openly opposing the “Parental Rights in Education” bill — known by critics as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill — which limits sexual orientation and gender identity talk from kindergarten to third grade classrooms, according to CBS News.

“All too often, GOP governors have bowed to corporate pressure, especially on noneconomic issues; I was going to stand firm in defense of the rights or parents and the well-being of our schoolchildren,” DeSantis reportedly wrote about the situation in his new book, “The Courage to Be Free: Florida’s Blueprint for America’s Revival.”

What’s been said: “The corporate kingdom finally comes to an end,” DeSantis said at a news conference on Monday. “There’s a new sheriff in town, and accountability will be the order of the day.”

CNN reported that the president of Walt Disney World Resort, Jeff Vahle, said in a statement that the Disney company is “ready to work within this new framework, and we will continue to innovate, inspire and bring joy to the millions of guests who come to Florida to visit Walt Disney World each year.”

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