Disney sues DeSantis over voided land deals

Disney has expanded its federal lawsuit against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, accusing him of targeting the company in a "retribution campaign" by signing legislation to void Disney's development deals in Orlando. The lawsuit also alleges that the state's Republican-led legislature passed legislation targeting Walt Disney World's monorail system. DeSantis' office has not yet responded to the amended complaint. The feud began last year after Disney publicly criticized a controversial Florida bill limiting discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in classrooms. DeSantis and his allies targeted Disney's special tax district, which has allowed the entertainment giant to self-govern its Orlando parks' operations for decades. The drawn-out feud spilled into the courts after the district's new board of supervisors, hand-picked by DeSantis, voted to nullify development deals that Disney struck shortly before they replaced the old board. The governor's board members claimed the deals were unlawfully passed and undercut their power over the 25,000-acre area, but Disney says the contracts were crafted to help lock in its long-term development plans amid escalating tension with DeSantis and his allies. On the final day of the state's legislative session, DeSantis signed a bill that included language effectively targeting Disney's development contracts. Republican State Sen. Blaise Ingoglia added that language to the bill days after warning Disney: "You are not going to win this fight. This Governor will." Democratic members of the state legislature have condemned the battle, calling it antithetical to conservative governance. Linda Stewart, a Democrat representing Florida's 13th Senate district and a staunch critic of DeSantis' actions against Disney, called the feud "insane" and laid blame with her Republican counterparts.


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