Florida tourism board gains control over Disney World with new bill

The Florida state legislature has passed a bill that gives the state's tourism board oversight powers over Walt Disney World. The board, appointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, will now have the legal authority to cancel agreements made with the park, as well as those made in the last three months. This move comes after Walt Disney Parks and Resorts U.S., Inc. filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida on April 26, alleging that DeSantis orchestrated a "targeted campaign of government retaliation" against the company that violates Disney's free speech rights. DeSantis dismissed Disney's lawsuit as politically motivated and said it is not "pro-business" to let one company get favorable treatment from the government.

Invested with its new powers, the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District Board will be able to cancel an agreement between Disney World and the Reedy Creek Improvement District that gave the company extensive autonomy over park grounds. The bill is next headed to DeSantis's desk and is expected to be signed into law in the coming days.


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