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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday signed into law legislation that would eliminate the Walt Disney Co.’s special self-governing status in the area around its Orlando theme parks, in a move widely seen as retaliation against the company for criticizing a new education law signed by the Republican governor.

The bill revokes Disney’s special tax privileges in the state which have been in place since the late 1960s.

“They have the ability to build a nuclear power plant without state consent if they want,” DeSantis said Friday. “No individual or no company in Florida is treated this way, and it’s not right to have this similar treatment but you know they had exercised a lot of power over the years.”

NBC News has reached out to Disney for comment.

DeSantis began targeting Disney, one of the state’s largest employers, after company executives criticized him for signing a bill that prevents classroom instruction on gender identity and sexual orientation in kindergarten through the third grade.

Republicans in the Florida Legislature responded swiftly by passing a bill that would remove Disney’s special tax status on June 1, 2023.

The Florida House passed the bill on Thursday after DeSantis called on the Legislature to back the measure during its special session this week.

House lawmakers passed the bill in a 68-38 vote after the Senate’s 23-16 vote on Wednesday.

Source: This post first appeared on NBC News

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