John Oliver Explains Why Florida Restricting Self-Governing Access From Walt Disney World Could Be A $1 Billion Mistake

On Last Week Tonight With John Oliver the host explains why restricting Disney World’s self-governing abilities will hurt the state of Florida in the long run. 

Last week, Florida’s state senate voted to strip The Walt Disney Co. of a 55-year-old special district that has allowed Walt Disney World to largely self-govern its theme park property. Reedy Creek Improvement District allows for this self-governance as they provide fire and EMS services to the property. However Oliver mentions there is one thing they are missing.  

“Disney provides essential services except a morgue. Why? Because no one has ever died at Disney and no one will ever die ay Disney,” he exclaims. 

The state’s governor, Ron DeSantis, asked lawmakers to take the step after Disney announced its opposition to the state’s recently passed parental rights bill, which opponents have dubbed “don’t say gay.” Republicans in the House also are expected to approve the move. It would take effect on June 1, 2023.

DeSantis didn’t think this one through as according to Oliver, stripping Disney might be against Florida state law–which requires that the county assumes a district’s debt when it’s dissolved. Orange and Osceola counties,  where Disney is located, would inherit upwards of $1 billion dollars in debt.

In response to this, the governor tells citizens ‘don’t worry’  but of course this is cause for concern. “There’s nothing more immediately off putting than someone starting a sentence with ‘don’t worry.’  He [DeSantis] sounds like a frat boy trying to reason with the cops after a noise complaint. “

There is a lot of talk about this, but the Orlando Sentinel spoke to reps at the Governor’s office who told the press, “The Governor’s office does not have a written plan in place for how the dissolution [of Disney] will proceed.”

“Of course it doesn’t,” said Oliver. He continues,  “Do I think it’s bad if Disney pays more taxes? No I don’t—that would be a good thing. I don’t love that it might not happen through meaningful tax reform, but because of one right-wing dipsh*t who is scared of gay people and doesn’t understand the first amendment.”

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