Florida Governor Ron DeSantis takes control of the Walt Disney District
Governor DeSantis' new law subjects the Walt Disney World District to various layers of state oversight. (File photo)
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill Monday that gives him control of the self-governing district of Walt Disney World, punishing the company for its opposition to a law deemed to discriminate against gay people.
The bill empowers Republican Governor DeSantis to appoint a five-member board to oversee government services the Disney District provides at its sprawling Florida theme parks.
Signing the law in Lake Buena Vista, Mr. DeSantis said there was a new sheriff in town, adding that the company would be held to account.
This news comes as the governor prepares for a possible presidential race with the release of a book, scheduled for Tuesday.
Ron DeSantis is a powerful ally of right-wing groups who want to increasingly dictate the content taught in schools. (File photo)
The Disney District takeover began last year when the entertainment giant publicly opposed the so-called “Don't Say Gay” law, which prohibits teachings on the subject of self-esteem. sexual orientation and gender identity from kindergarten through third grade, and any lessons deemed not age appropriate.
Mr. DeSantis moved quickly to penalize the company, ordering lawmakers in the Republican-dominated assembly to dissolve the Autonomous District of Disney in a special legislative session last year, beginning a process of restructuring closely watched.
In February, Governor DeSantis called on lawmakers to finalize state control over the district in another special session called at the haste that signaled the governor's willingness to wield the power of state government to achieve political goals – a strategy that is likely to continue in the months to come ahead of his potential run for the White House. p>
The new law subjects the district to various layers of state oversight. Board members are currently appointed by entities controlled by Disney.