TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — In addition to redistricting, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced while in the Villages that he would be taking the fight against Disney to the state legislature during the special session started Tuesday.
Specifically, DeSantis said he was amending and expanding the redistricting and reapportionment special session to include “termination of all special districts that were enacted in Florida prior to 1968, and that includes the Reedy Creek Improvement District.”
The RCID was established by the Reedy Creek Improvement Act of 1967, which is the state legislation that gave the Walt Disney Company its ability to self-govern the Magic Kingdom theme park and its surrounding areas and infrastructure.
A notice sent from the governor’s office made it plain that it would be focusing on amending part of the state statutes dealing with “unlawful acts and practices by social media platforms.”
“The call to the Legislature of the State of Florida for this Special Session is expanded for the sole purpose of considering (a) legislation relating to independent special districts, and (b) legislation to amend Section 501.2041, Florida Statutes,” the memo from the governor’s office said.
The notice is a callback to 2021’s Big Tech Censorship Crackdown, a law currently contested in court and not yet in effect, which deals with “de-platforming” of candidates by social media companies and opens up litigation options in the eventuality that someone loses their account on sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. for commentary that violates the site’s guidelines.
At the time of its passage, Senate Bill 7072 was described as a way to ensure all Floridians were treated fairly by Big Tech platforms, according to a statement sent out by the governor’s office at the time. The law was written and passed after former President Donald Trump lost access to Facebook and Twitter following the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection in Washington.
Reporting by NBC News described the law as a nod to Trump being banned on the two social media platforms.
The law included a carve-out, as described by DeSantis, that excluded theme parks from being affected by the censorship law.
In 2022, as Disney publicly opposed the recently passed House Bill 1557, “Parental Rights in Education,” dubbed by critics as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, DeSantis turned his efforts toward contesting Disney’s self-governance.
While speaking in Ponte Vedra Beach on March 31, DeSantis said the point was to take away the power of “woke” corporations from interfering in Florida politics.
Now, it appears that efforts to strip Disney of its special status will be a major focus of the special session this week.