As the latest volley from the conservative leader against the Walt Disney Co (DIS.N), the Florida Senate on Thursday passed a bill that will empower a tourist board created by Governor Ron DeSantis to terminate development agreements its predecessor body made.
If signed into law, the bill will give the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District board, which DeSantis formed to monitor construction near Disney theme parks, the authority to nullify contracts made during the preceding three months.
Bill allowing board to terminate Disney contracts passes in Florida legislature
In February, the Florida legislature convened the board. It took over management of the 25,000 acres around the Walt Disney World resort from the Reedy Creek Improvement District.
When asked for comment, Disney remained silent.
Since last year, when Disney protested a state legislation prohibiting classroom discussion of sexuality and gender identity with younger children, a battle has been brewing between Disney, the largest employer in central Florida, and DeSantis, a Republican.
As he prepares to announce his campaign for U.S. president, DeSantis has been critical of “woke Disney” in public.
Disney filed a federal lawsuit against DeSantis last month, accusing him of abusing his position as governor to retaliate against the corporation for its First Amendment activities.
This week, the board of the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District filed a countersuit in a state court, claiming it was trying to undo “backroom deals” that favored Disney.