Disney sues Florida governor over lost district

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts U.S. Inc. has filed a lawsuit against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis after the state revoked the company's self-governing authority in a dispute over the company's political activities. Disney has accused DeSantis of orchestrating a "targeted campaign of government retaliation" against the company, which it claims violates Disney's free speech rights. The lawsuit comes after a board appointed by DeSantis to govern the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, where the Walt Disney World resort is located, voted to nullify two development contracts Disney signed earlier this year. Disney, one of Florida's largest employers, claims that the nullified contracts "laid the foundation for billions of Disney's investment dollars and thousands of jobs." DeSantis's communications director, Taryn Fenske, said that the state is unaware of any legal right that a company has to operate its own government or maintain special privileges not held by other businesses in the state. The lawsuit now involves courts in a battle between DeSantis and Disney that began when the company campaigned to overturn Florida's Parental Rights in Education law, which DeSantis responded to by pushing the Florida legislature to strip Disney's self-governing authority and create a new board, full of his appointees, which now has control over the theme park's development. Disney is asking the court to declare the legislature's actions "unlawful and unenforceable".


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