Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis on Tuesday secured yet another historical win as a federal judge blocked a lawsuit challenging Florida law that recently revoked special privileges for Disney in the sunshine state.
Governor DeSantis signed the S.B.4-C into law recently on April 22nd requiring Disney Corporation to abide by building inspections and planning zone controls in Osceola and Orange counties. This bill is set to go into effect starting July 2022.
“I’m just not comfortable having that type of agenda get special treatment in my state,” Gov. DeSantis remarked while signing this bill.
“Reedy Creek, which has a permanent population of about 50, as well as its own board of supervisors and fire department, allows Disney to construct new buildings and expand its parks without having to adhere to state or county regulations related to construction, wastewater management and drainage,” The Wall Street Journal reported. “It encompasses four theme parks, two water parks, a sports complex and hotels, stores and restaurants.” The WSJ report adds.
“You’ll notice you never see potholes when you drive up to Walt Disney World. That’s because Disney doesn’t have to wait for the county to come fix them,” David Ramba, executive director of the Florida Association of Special Districts, told The Wall Street Journal. “Reedy Creek is probably the most efficient local government in Florida, because it’s not a typical bureaucracy. It’s run like a business.”
The bill states “any independent special district established by a special act prior to the date of ratification of the Florida Constitution on November 5, 1968,and which was not reestablished, re-ratified, or otherwise reconstituted by a special act or general law after November 5, 1968, is dissolved effective June 1, 2023.”
Three residents from the Orange County and Osceola county filed this motion claiming that S.B. 4-C “unconstitutionally threatens” residents to abide by free speech rights and pay higher taxes.
U.S. District Court Judge Cecilia Altonaga dismissed this complaint on Tuesday handing yet another legal victory to the DeSantis administration.
The plaintiffs “do not plausibly allege they have suffered any concrete injury as a result of the alleged violation of Disney’s First Amendment rights, and nothing in the Complaint shows Plaintiffs have a close relationship with Disney,” Judge Altonaga wrote in the ruling.
SB 4-C “does not apply to them, they do not allege direct harm as a result of the challenged law, and they do not plausibly allege any credible threat of direct harm in the future,” the ruling adds.
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