By Lydia Nusbaum
April 22, 2022 Updated 4:32 P.M. ET
HIALEAH (FLV) – Gov. Ron DeSantis signed bills Friday stripping Disney of its self-governing powers and removing the company’s exemption from a 2021 Big Tech censorship law. Florida lawmakers passed those pieces of legislation during a special session this week.
The new law (S.B. 4-C) takes away the Walt Disney Company’s independent special district which gives the company self-governing powers. The bill dismantles six independent special districts created before 1968, including the Reedy Creek Improvement District.
The 1967 Reedy Creek Improvement Act allows Disney to govern itself in Walt Disney World on things like building codes, zoning, and electricity.
Florida Republicans passed the legislation after Disney spoke out against the Parental Rights in Education Act, which bans teachers from instructing children as young as 5 about sexual orientation and gender identity. Disney came out against the legislation and vowed to have it “repealed.”
“And I’m just thinking to myself, you’re a corporation based in Burbank, California and you’re going to marshal your economic might to attack the parents of my state,” DeSantis said. “We view that as a provocation.”
The Governor also signed a bill (S.B. 6-C) that removes Walt Disney Company’s exemption from a Florida law that aims to hold Big Tech accountable.
Florida lawmakers passed legislation (S.B. 7072) in 2021 that requires social media companies to be transparent about their content moderation practices and attempts to stop companies from more easily silencing viewpoints on social media.
There was an exemption for theme parks like Disney in the 2021 law. Under the law DeSantis signed Friday, theme parks will no longer receive that exemption.
U.S. Rep. Val Demings, D- District 10, called the legislation “reckless” in a tweet Friday.
The Governor also announced he signed the congressional reapportionment bill into law.
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