Florida Democrats Scream as GOP Votes to Strip Disney Self-Governing Status

Democrats staged a loud and disruptive protest on Thursday as the GOP-led Florida House passed a bill that would dissolve Disney's privileged tax and self-governing status.

The House passed the measure with a 68-38 vote after the State Senate, also controlled by Republicans, approved companion legislation in a 23-16 vote on Wednesday.

The bill will become law if signed by Governor Ron DeSantis and take effect on June 1, 2023, although Disney could still launch legal challenges.

A video of the protest has also begun to go viral on social media and has been viewed over over 850,000 times.

Democrats sat at the front of the Florida House and can be heard shouting as the House Speaker, Chris Sprowls, attempted to continue with proceedings.

"It seems as [though] Mickey and Minnie have joined us in the chamber today," State Rep. Randy Fine, who sponsored the bill, joked before votes were cast for the bill.

In a clip not seen in the viral video, the House Speaker addressed the protest and insisted things would proceed as planned.

"Members we are back in session, as is obvious we have members who decided they wanted to hijack our process today," Sprowls said.

"It is my belief that, and your belief, that no member of this chamber has the opportunity to shut down our process, to shut down a job that the people of the public and the people of Florida have asked us to do.

"We will be concluding our business today, it is my hope that our colleagues will join us in not being disruptive but we will be finishing our business."

Throughout Sprowls' comments the protesting Democrats continued to shout loudly. Now that the bill has been passed by the House, the legislation will now go to DeSantis for signing.

DeSantis has previously supported the legislation and criticized the massive company for interfering with politics.

'Disney and other woke corporations won't get away with peddling their unchecked pressure campaigns any longer," he said during a fundraising pitch according to a Mail Online report.

"If we want to keep the Democrat machine and their corporate lapdogs accountable, we have to stand together now."

The bill will mean that Disney will not be allowed to regulate land, enforce building codes and treat waste water as it has done as part of a 55-year-old deal.

The Reedy Creek Improvement District, as the Disney government is known, will be eliminated by June 2023.

Newsweek has contacted Disney for comment.

Disney
A view of the entrance of Walt Disney World on March 22, 2022 in Orlando, Florida.The state's GOP-controlled House passed a bill that would dissolve the Reedy Creek Improvement District as well as a handful of similar sectors by a vote of 70-38 on Thursday. Octavio Jones/Getty Images