Headline RoundupApril 22nd, 2022

DeSantis Signs Bill Ending Disney's Self-Governing District

AllSides Summary

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill Friday that would eliminate a private government district controlled by the Walt Disney Company by June 2023.

The Reedy Creek Improvement District was established in 1967 to allow Disney greater autonomy in building Walt Disney World, which would eventually become the largest single-site employer in the country. The loss of the special district could have significant tax implications for both Disney and nearby Florida residents. 

The bill was widely seen as retaliation for Disney’s stated opposition to the Parental Rights in Education law, called the “Don’t Say Gay” law by opponents. While Disney was initially reluctant to take a stand on the controversial legislation, the entertainment giant eventually said its “goal as a company is for this law to be repealed by the legislature or struck down in the courts.” DeSantis signed two other bills on Friday: one subjecting Disney to a Florida law that allows people to sue tech companies for alleged censorship, and another — the “Stop WOKE Act” — which places limits on how schools and private businesses can discuss race, sex and nationality. 

Coverage was widespread across the spectrum on Friday. Some coverage from left-rated outlets like NPR (Lean Left bias) said the bill could “hurt taxpayers” in Florida. Some coverage in right rated outlets appeared to frame the bill favorably; a New York Post (Lean Right bias) homepage tagline said, “Disney's done.” 

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