The Florida Senate on Wednesday passed two bills targeting Walt Disney Co. after the theme-park giant condemned a widely supported new Florida law that restricts discussion about sexual orientation and gender identity in schools.
After the Republican-controlled legislature passed the Parents Bill of Rights legislation the Disney company issued a statement saying the popular education measure, dubbed by critics as the “don’t say gay” bill, “should never have passed” and that DeSantis shouldn’t have signed it.
Incensed at the Disney Company's support for allowing teachers to groom children in Kindergarten through Third Grade, Republican legislators have lined up behind DeSantis in the fight against Disney, which employs more than 77,000 workers in Florida.
One of the bills targeting Disney would eliminate a decades-old special district that gives the entertainment company self-governing powers on its Central Florida property.
Florida News Service Assignment Manager Tom Urban and staff writer Jim Turner reported the Reedy Creek Improvement District, created in 1967, covers roughly 25,000 acres in Orange and Osceola counties and oversees issues such as land use and traditional functions of local government such as fire protection and water and wastewater service.
The Senate approved the measure (SB 4-C) in a 23-16 vote on Wednesday, with Jeff Brandes of St. Petersburg the sole Republican to join Democrats in opposition.
The proposal would lead to the elimination in June 2023 of the Reedy Creek Improvement District and five other special districts across the state: the Bradford County Development Authority, the Sunshine Water Control District in Broward County, the Eastpoint Water and Sewer District in Franklin County, the Hamilton County Development Authority and the Marion County Law Library.
The districts would be able to seek to be re-established by the Legislature before June 2023. But if it is dissolved, the Reedy Creek district’s debt obligations, revenues and responsibilities would be transferred to Osceola and Orange counties and the small cities of Lake Buena Vista and Bay Lake.
Speaking to reporters after the vote, Senate President Wilton Simpson blamed Disney for the legislation “by bringing attention onto themselves.”
He noted that the Reedy Creek district has eminent-domain power, the potential ability to build a nuclear-power plant, “and they have many other powers that I do not believe that the public would approve of, if we were doing this today and not in 1967.”
“Once we started opening up Reedy Creek and seeing what all was inside of it, it was determined by this Legislature that we needed to take action,” Simpson, R-Trilby, said. “Anytime one of our large corporations, with special opportunities in this state, shine more light on themselves than maybe they wish that they had have, we then as a Legislature will take a look at what is actually in this document (Reedy Creek paperwork).”
The Senate on Wednesday also approved a measure (SB 6-C) that would eliminate an exception for theme parks tucked into a 2021 law that targeted social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. The law seeks to punish tech companies that strip users from platforms or flag users’ posts. A federal judge last year issued a preliminary injunction blocking the law from being enforced, saying it was “riddled with imprecision and ambiguity.”
An Atlanta-based appeals court is scheduled to hear arguments April 28 in the state’s appeal of U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle’s decision.
Sen. Jennifer Bradley, a Fleming Island Republican who sponsored the Disney-related bills, urged her colleagues to eliminate the theme park exemption.
“I have a hard time understanding why that would be a controversial issue. Let’s apply the law equally to everyone,” she said.
The Senate signed off on the measure in a 24-15 vote.
Democrats and their Leftist allies would like you to think that Disney is Florida’s most beloved corporate citizen – it isn’t – and that Governor Ron DeSantis and his conservative Republican allies in the Florida legislature are just playing politics – they aren’t.
In a Wednesday email to supporters Gov. DeSantis said, “Disney and other woke corporations won’t get away with peddling their unchecked pressure campaigns any longer… If we want to keep the Democrat machine and their corporate lapdogs accountable, we have to stand together now.”
DeSantis is right, Floridians haven’t forgotten that back in 2015 it was Disney that announced that it was firing its American workers and replacing them with foreigners who would work for half their wages, and then the company demanded that the fired workers train their replacements.
And only two politicians stood up for the fired workers: Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis.
As Breitbart’s Julia Hahn reported from a 2016 Trump rally in Alabama:
Dena Moore and Leo Perrero were two Disney workers who were informed that they were going to be laid off during the holiday season of 2014. They—along with scores of their colleagues—were told that before they were let go, they’d be forced to train their low-skilled foreign replacements brought in on H-1B visas. Earlier this week, Perrero testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee about the humiliation he was forced to endure by training his foreign replacement. While Donald Trump has called on Disney to hire back all of these workers and has pledged to end H-1B job theft as President, Sen. Marco Rubio has pushed to expand the controversial H-1B program—he has introduced two bills that would dramatically boost the issuances of H-1Bs. As recently as last year, Rubio introduced a bill—endorsed by Disney’s CEO Bob Iger via his immigration lobbying firm—that would triple the issuances of H-1Bs. Disney is one of Sen. Rubio’s top financial backers—having donated more than $2 million according to Open Secrets.
The Disney workers were introduced at the rally by their attorney who is representing them in their discrimination lawsuit against Disney, Sara Blackwell. In her introductory remarks Blackwell explained, “The thing about Trump that’s different than anybody else is that he can’t be bought. We have a chance to stop this problem in America. It’s got to be by a president and politician where they won’t be bought by Disney’s Bob Iger or by Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, by all these billionaires who benefit from firing our American workers,” reported Hahn.
The bottom line is Disney is no longer the benevolent mouse of the old Mickey Mouse Club days – Disney is now a Far-Left political entity with its own political agenda: promoting transgender and homosexual ideology, open borders and a massive influx of low-skilled workers to feed its manpower needs at the lowest possible price point to name a few of the Disney company’s most destructive goals.
The good news is Ron DeSantis, like Donald Trump, is on to Disney and he has shown that, unlike Sen. Marco Rubio and other Florida politicians who have been compromised by Disney, he can’t be bought or bullied into submission.
Parental rights bill
Senate President Wilton Simpson
Walt Disney Company
Disney CEO Bob Chapek
Reedy Creek Improvement District