Florida lawmakers have advanced a bill
that would strip Disney of its self-government.
Republican Representative Randy Fine
told Florida Politics that the measure was a response to
Disney's support for LGBTQ rights, specifically its vow to work to
repeal a law dubbed “Don't Say Gay” by its opponents.
“When you poke the bear or you kick
the bees' nest, sometimes issues come out,” Fine say, referring to
Governor Ron DeSantis as the bear.
Fine's proposal, House Bill 3C, cleared
the House State Affairs Committee 14-7 along party lines. A Senate
version, Senate Bill 4C, cleared the Senate Community Affairs
Committee also along party lines.
Walt Disney World mostly governs itself
under an entity created by the state in 1967. Under the arrangement,
Disney pays for these costs, including police. Under the proposed
legislation, the financial burden would shift to the county.
In a tweet, Fine said that his
legislation was a reminder that Disney is “a guest in Florida.”
“@GovDeSantis just expanded the
Special Session so I could file HB3C which eliminates Reedy Creek
Improvement District, a 50 yr-old special statute that makes Disney …
exempt from laws faced by regular Floridians,” Fine wrote.
Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith,
an openly gay Democrat, argued that the measure was about vengeance
“We've pulled the rug out from
underneath all of the workers and businesses and we're pulling the
rug out from underneath Central Florida's economy, all because one
business had the gall to stand up for the LGBTQ community,” he
said. “That's what this is all about.”
gay Florida lawmaker Carlos Guillermo Smith gets engaged at Disney
Lawmakers could approve the bill as
early as Thursday.