DeSantis’ tourism board to learn about Disney lawsuit at special meeting

Disney sued governor, the board last week

ORLANDO, Fla. – On Monday morning, the board of the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District will meet to discuss one thing — Disney’s lawsuit against them.

The special meeting is the latest round in the battle between Gov. DeSantis and Florida Republicans, and the Walt Disney Company.

Last week Disney sued the governor, the acting secretary of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and all of the members of the CFTOD. The lawsuit alleges the months-long battle being waged by the state was targeted retaliation against Disney for voicing its opinions on the state’s Parental Rights in Education law.

It also alleges the recent actions of the new board threaten business operations and jeopardize Disney’s economic future.

DeSantis, while overseas last week, accused Disney of not wanting to follow the same rules as other businesses.

“I don’t think the suit has merit, I think it’s political,” he said.

News 6 political analyst Dr. Jim Clark, however, points to statements by the governor that the board may consider development and other actions on Disney land.

“I think that they have a pretty good argument here, the governor threatened toll roads, he threatened higher hotel taxes,” Clark said.

Business owners from Disney Springs restaurants and shops, meanwhile, say they worry about how the legal battle will affect them. Board members with the CFTOP have said that legal fees could result in raising taxes.

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About the Author:

Brian Didlake joined the News 6 team as a reporter in March 2021.