Shares of the Walt Disney Co. continued their downward slide Thursday after the Florida House voted to approve a bill that would strip Walt Disney World in Orlando of its self-governing district, paving the way for Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) to sign the bill into law.
Disney shares dropped more than 2 percent in Thursday trading and are down more than 6 percent so far this week. The stock has been on a downward spiral for the past year, dropping more than 30 percent in 12 months to make it the worst performing stock on the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
Florida’s House voted 70-38 on Thursday to pass S.B. 4-C, the legislation that would eliminate the Reedy Creek Improvement District, the special governing jurisdiction for the Walt Disney World Resort that was established more than 50 years ago.
— Sean Moran (@SeanMoran3) April 21, 2022
The state Senate approved the bill earlier this week. Gov. DeSantis is expected to sign the bill into law on Friday.
Florida’s move to dissolve Disney’s special district represents its latest salvo in the state’s feud with the entertainment giant after it vowed to fight Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law, which forbids the teaching of sexual orientation and gender ideology to children in kindergarten through third grade.
Disney CEO Bob Chapek has promised to keep working to repeal the parental rights law and others like it in other states.
The Reedy Creek Improvement District conferred a host of privileges to Disney, including the right to develop the 25,000 acre area without having to seek government approval.