The move could have huge tax implications for Disney, whose series of theme parks have transformed Orlando into one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, and serves to further sour the relationship between the Republican-led government and a major political player in the state.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida Senate on Wednesday passed a bill to repeal a law allowing Walt Disney World to operate a private government over its properties in the state, escalating a feud with the entertainment giant over its opposition to what critics call the “ Don’t Say Gay ” law. The proposal could have huge tax […]
As Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill into law on Monday, The Walt Disney Co. issued a statement vowing to help repeal the controversial legislation. Disney’s public opposition to the law follows an employee walkout in protest of CEO Bob Chapek’s mishandling of the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. “Florida’s HB 1557, also known as the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, should never have passed and should never have been signed into law,” the statement reads. “Our goal as a company is for this law to be repealed by the legislature or struck down in the courts, and we remain committed to supporting the national and state organizations working to achieve that. We are dedicated to standing up for the rights and safety of LGBTQ+ members of the Disney family, as well as the LGBTQ+ community in Florida and across the country.”
After being severely criticized by LGBTQ Disney and Pixar employees and supporters, and groups including GLAAD and the Human Rights Campaign over his lack of response to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill, Disney CEO Bob Chapek has issued an apology to the company’s workers, and announced a “pause” in political donations in Florida.
A fast-advancing Florida privacy bill that would give consumers the right to opt out of targeted advertising is drawing opposition from the ad industry. The Consumer Data Privacy Bill, first unveiled in February, would broadly require companies to notify consumers about data collection, and allow consumers to opt out of the sale of their personal data, as well as its processing for purposes of targeted ads.
Over the past few weeks, many in the Democratic Party had publicly called out former New York mayor Mike Bloomberg for his lack of financial commitment to help Joe Biden beat President Donald Trump in November. Bloomberg had vowed to open up his personal fortune to help defeat Trump but his lack of financial contributions since he dropped out of the Democratic primary in March had raised eyebrows among Democrats. Now Bloomberg is finally making good on his commitment and has decided he will focus his efforts on the key state of Florida, vowing to spend at least $100 million to help Biden win the Sunshine State.
As Hurricane Michael bore down Wednesday on the Panhandle with Category 4 winds, the Republican Party of Florida broke with tradition and continued to air two ads bashing Ron DeSantis’ Democratic rival in the race for governor, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, over his city’s response to a hurricane in 2016. And in the U.S. Senate race, the Democratic super PAC backing Sen. Bill Nelson (D) began running a negative commercial in strike-zone markets attacking his opponent Gov. Rick Scott. Also in those markets, a Republican super PAC supporting Scott is attacking Nelson in an ad for being “an empty suit.”
Pointing to “protectionism,” Dish Network is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to take up a constitutional challenge to a Florida law that sets different tax rates for cable and satellite TV services. The long-running battle focuses on the state’s communications-services tax, which is 4.92% on the sale of cable services and 9.07% on the sale of satellite-TV services.
The Florida Legislature on Tuesday sent a bill to Gov. Rick Scott that places limits on the use of remote-controlled drones. If Scott signs the bill into law then drones could not be used to photograph or record images of people or their property from the air. The restrictions would also apply to state and local governments.
Just as a deal came together late last week to keep PBS programming on the air in Orlando, Florida’s public broadcasters suffered a financial blow when Gov. Rick Scott vetoed the state’s nearly $4.8 million appropriation for public broadcasting.
The GOP-dominated Florida legislature had already budgeted a 30% reduction in the funds provided to the state’s 26 nonprofit public radio and TV stations, forcing organizations scrambling to deal with a long-expected downturn in donations and memberships to conserve further. But Gov. Rick Scott’s veto yesterday zeroes out funding completely, ending a funding arrangement that has stood for 35 years, beginning with the start of the state’s fiscal year on July 1.