As the entertainment company remains embroiled in an increasingly fiery power battle with the state, Disney has expanded its federal lawsuit against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
After DeSantis and his allies made legal moves to dissolve a 30-year-old agreement between Disney and the state, Disney’s lawyers are biting back; the legal team Monday revamped their already-filed lawsuit with the governor’s own comments, alleging he is punishing Disney for opposing Florida’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law.
The company’s lawyers have called the governor’s actions evidence of a “targeted campaign of government retaliation.”
The expanded lawsuit comes specifically in response to two bills targeted at Disney and passed by Florida legislators last week, one already signed by DeSantis.
The two bills include one to overturn Disney’s development agreement and one to hand over monorail inspections to the state, which “was precision-engineered to target Disney alone,” the lawsuit says.
“Without hesitation or prompt, Gov. DeSantis admitted: ‘[T]his all started, of course, with our parents’ rights bill,’” the amended lawsuit quotes DeSantis as saying.
The lawsuit also asks the courts to invalidate the bill DeSantis signed Friday, which seeks to nullify Disney’s development agreements with the Reedy Creek Improvement District. The special district was created in the 1960s and has largely given Disney self-governing power since.
These development agreements were reached shortly before the board was replaced by the governor’s appointees. The handpicked board that has replaced Reedy Creek, Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, also voted to invalidate those agreements.