Gov. DeSantis proposes state board to oversee Disney World theme parks

Under a planned bill, Disney’s Florida parks would have a new landlord. "The governor has already made it clear what his intention is," said Albert Yonfa, a partner at Nejame Law, "to have the State of Florida take over."

Under the proposal, the company's theme parks would no longer be self-governing. Instead, a board appointed by the governor would oversee the theme park's land, which is called the Reedy Creek Improvement District. "Now the governor would be able to appoint the board of supervisors to run Reedy Creek and continue it as a special district," Yonfa said.

Republican State Rep. Randy Fine said the arrangement would be a win for Florida’s taxpayers. "The district has eliminated the end of the year, that's the law now. So this would be basically re-creating something, I think the key thing being it would be a government accountable to the people, as opposed to one corporation."

The governor's office said in a statement: "Under the proposed legislation, Disney will no longer control its own government, will live under the same laws as everyone else, will be responsible for their outstanding debts, and will pay their fair share of taxes."

Democratic State Rep. Anna Eskamani said the plan may be about more than that. "This is not about corporate accountability. This is about Disney World defending queer kids and the governor not liking that, and the governor pursuing an agenda to stop that from ever happening again."

Lawmakers say there's more work to be done, and the full text of the bill hasn't yet been finalized. The state legislature voted to dissolve Disney’s special tax district after a feud between Gov. Ron DeSantis and Disney’s then-chief executive Bob Chapek, over the state's recently-passed "Parental Rights in Education" bill. Opponents call it the "Don't Say Gay" bill.