Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday shot down a report that the state was expecting a “twist” in its crackdown on Disney after months of criticism over the state’s “Don’t Say Gay” law.
DeSantis fired after the answer Financial Times Months after Florida lawmakers revoked the company’s special tax status, they worked out terms that would allow Disney to retain autonomy in the Reedy Creek Improvement District.
The Florida governor “doesn’t do U-turns,” said Jeremy Redfern, a deputy spokesman for DeSantis.
He also confirmed that Florida taxpayers would not face a financial burden greater than Disney’s debts, casting doubt on the Mouse House’s ability to fully restore its former special tax status.
“The governor was right to defend the removal of emergency relief granted to one company through the Reedy Creek Improvement District,” Redfern said in a statement.
“We’re going to have a level playing field for business in Florida, and the state certainly doesn’t favor any one company,” Redfern added. “Disney’s debts do not go to Florida taxpayers. A plan is being developed and will be announced soon.”
Bob Iger’s shock return as Disney CEO last month is expected to pave the way for a compromise after previous Mouse House boss Bob Chapek angered Florida’s Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, the FT reported. by publicly denouncing the law.
The revised deal “essentially preserves the agreement with a few modifications,” the report said, citing sources briefed on the plan.
Chapek’s sudden departure raises the possibility that “something will work out” between Disney and Florida’s Republican-controlled state government, according to state Rep. Randy Fine, who wrote the bill that would have abolished the company. s special tax status last April.
“It’s easier to change policy when you don’t have to defend the old policy,” Fine told the Financial Times. â€œChapek is broken, but Bob Iger doesn’t have to have that stupidity.â€
â€œIt appears that Disney and the Legislature are motivated to reach an agreement. Nobody wants a train wreck,” another source said.
The Post has reached out to Disney for comment.
Chapek’s mishandling of the situation was reportedly a major factor in Disney’s decision to remove him from his top gig. The former CEO initially remained silent on the law, which would have prohibited teachers from discussing LGBTQ topics such as sexual orientation or gender identity with young students — angering left-leaning Disney employees and sparking widespread protests it has been.
After weeks of domestic pressure, Chapek later reversed course and struck down Republican-backed legislation that would have pushed DeSantis and his allies to strip the special tax status.
At the time, DeSantis said Chapek had “crossed the line” by arguing publicly about a political issue.
Prior to this decision, Disney had autonomy in the Reedy Creek District and retained control over local police and fire departments and infrastructure management. Critics argued that Disney’s decision to end its special tax status would unfairly shift a large tax burden to state residents.
Iger publicly criticized the “Don’t Say Gay” law when it came into effect, but the FT said he had remained silent on the situation since resuming as CEO.
Iger addressed the controversy during a town hall meeting with Disney employees earlier this week.
â€œWhat can I say? [is] Florida State has been important to us for a long time, and we’ve been important to Florida State,” Iger said. â€œThis is something I am very careful about and I will tell you if I can.’
The FT quoted an “influential figure in Florida state politics” as saying that Iger’s initial message on the matter was “a good olive branch message to Disney employees and the state of Florida.”