Gov. Ron DeSantis signed HB 3C on April 22 that strips Walt Disney World of its ability to self-govern. This is following the theme park speaking out against DeSantis’ “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
DeSantis is, for the umpteenth time, sacrificing the well-being of his constituents, the people that elected him to represent them, in order to suppress dissenters.
HB 1557, or the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, signed by DeSantis on March 28, limits discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity in classrooms.
Prior to the bill touching DeSantis’ desk, Disney CEO Bob Chapek claimed Disney was opposed to the bill from the outset during his March 9 meeting with shareholders.
Chapek’s statement followed tweets from Disney employees outraged at the discovery that the Walt Disney Company donated money to every sponsor of the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
On the day DeSantis signed the bill, the official Walt Disney Company Twitter account posted a statement speaking out against it.
“[HB 1557] should have never been signed into law,” read the tweet.
“Our goal as a company is for this law to be repealed by the legislature or struck down in the courts, and we remain committed to supporting the national and state organizations working to achieve that.”
This tweet crossed the line, according to DeSantis in a March 29 press conference. In response, DeSantis proposed HB 3C, which passed only three days after it was introduced.
The bill dissolves the Reedy Creek Improvement District, which designated Disney property as its own governance, allowing Disney to develop infrastructure for its resort without interference from local counties, and at no cost to Florida taxpayers.
With the improvement district eliminated, the cost of municipal services to Disney, such as road maintenance and water supply, will fall on surrounding counties. This would cost an extra $105 million a year in total, according to CNBC.
These counties, primarily Osceola and Orange, would also absorb Reedy Creek’s debt, around $1 billion, leading to increased taxes for citizens.
DeSantis is more than willing to make an example out of Disney for disagreeing with him because he is not the one bearing the backlash — taxpayers are.
This isn’t the first time DeSantis has sacrificed the good of his constituents as a show of power against those who disagree with him.
Despite DeSantis’ ban on mask mandates in public schools during the pandemic, a dozen school districts chose to require them anyway in an attempt to limit the spread of COVID-19.
In response, DeSantis decided in February to cut $200 million in public education funding, targeting those counties, according to the Florida House Committee meeting record.
Some county school boards chose to require masks in an attempt to save lives, so DeSantis has decided to punish every child, parent and teacher to prove a point — that he is not to be disobeyed.
DeSantis’ recent method of governing is forcing other powers into submission by pushing them past their limits, regardless of how it affects Floridians as a whole.
This is not appropriate or acceptable for an elected official, who is meant to lead by example with the citizens’ best interests at heart.