(DailyVantage.com) – Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis raised the possibility of building a state prison next to Orlando’s Walt Disney World Resort during a press conference on April 17 as the governor and Disney continue their feud.
DeSantis pointed out during the conference that while Disney owned a lot of the land in the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, the district itself owned other sections of land which were adjacent to Disney’s amusement park.
The governor stated that while he previously “wasn’t thinking about that land,” and just wanted Disney to play by the “same rules” as every other business in Florida, he was now tempted to utilize the district land in retaliation to Disney’s battle with the state.
Examples DeSantis proposed included competitor amusement parks and even a state prison, before adding, “Who knows? I just think that the possibilities are endless.”
On February 27, 2023, DeSantis signed a bill replacing the Reedy Creek Improvement District — a Florida district created in the 1960s which gave Disney unprecedented power and “special privileges” over the area where its park was located — with the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District in an effort to curb Disney’s power in the state. Disney CEO Bob Iger responded by calling DeSantis’ move “anti-business” and “anti-Florida,” however DeSantis argued that the change was necessary to ensure that Disney follows “the same laws as everybody else” and pays its “fair share of taxes.”
Disney has challenged DeSantis’ district change and attempted to maintain control through legal means — deepening the feud between the two parties.
The feud between Disney and DeSantis started after the company criticized the governor for signing a bill which prohibited schools from teaching young elementary school children about sexual and gender identity. The Florida Parental Rights in Education Act — which many critics refer to the “Don’t Say Gay” bill — also prompted Disney to halt its donations to Florida Republicans.
While DeSantis’ actions against Disney have proved popular among many Florida Republican voters, former Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie publicly criticized DeSantis and claimed the move called into question whether the Florida governor was a real “conservative”.
Copyright 2023, DailyVantage.com