Florida Lawmakers Pass Bill To Void Walt Disney World’s Development Agreement With Special District

Ron DeSantis is expected to sign a bill that would void the vault disney World’s Development agreements with a special district overseeing theme parks and resorts, the latest move in a bitter battle between the company and the governor.

The state House of Representatives passed a land-use bill on Wednesday by a vote of 75-34 that would essentially invalidate Disney’s agreement. Reedy Creek Improvement District in February, when the Special District was still under Company control. The bill now goes to DeSantis’ desk.

The 30-year development agreement ensured that Disney retained a great deal of autonomy over land use on its property and its surroundings, with DeSantis taking control of the special district and installing the governor’s own appointees to its board. Led a successful state effort. ,

Disney sued the governor in federal court last week, claiming DeSantis’ move to set up his own appointees on the special district’s board came after the company opposed his parental rights law. There was an act of retaliation, known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. , Disney argues that DeSantis’ actions violated the First Amendment and the Contract Clauses of the Constitution, as well as the company’s right to due process.

The bill passed Wednesday includes a provision that bars the district from complying with the development agreement. More specifically, it bars special districts from complying with agreements executed within three months of the passage of a law changing the way a district’s board members are selected. The Disney development agreement was passed by the Reedy Creek board on February 8; DeSantis signed legislation on February 27 giving the state control of the board.

Disney has argued that its development agreement, which includes a set of restrictive covenants, complies with the law. “All agreements signed between Disney and the district were appropriate and were discussed and approved in public forums in compliance with Florida’s Government in the Sunshine Law,” the company said last month.