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Economics in Brief: DeSantis Revokes Disney’s Tax District Status

Also: California grocery store workers win under new contract, and California high schoolers could receive guaranteed income

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DeSantis Strikes Against Disney, Revokes Their Special Tax District Status

Florida’s state legislature has moved rapidly to cancel Walt Disney World’s special tax district, voting 23 to 16 on Wednesday to revoke the company’s privileges.

The bill was introduced three days ago under the guidance of Governor Ron DeSantis, the Washington Post reports, an act that Senator Tina Polsky (D) called “an enormous decision based on spite and revenge governance.”

Florida lawmakers were asked to consider terminating the corporation’s self-governing privileges after Disney condemned the controversial “Don’t Say Gay” law, which prevents teachers from discussing sexual orientation and gender identity from Kindergarten to third grade. Disney has also since paused political donations.

For years, the corporation has been one of the most vital entities in the state, employing 38 lobbyists and providing large donations to both Democrats and Republicans, according to the New York Times. Walt Disney World generates more than $5 billion in local and state tax revenue alone and brings millions of tourists to the state every year.

The bill is set to go into effect in June 2023, following DeSantis’ signature.

California Grocery Store Workers Win Under New Contract

Supermarket workers from some 540 Southern California stores have signed a contract to improve their work experience, AP reports.

The compromise would provide 47,000 employees with better wages, greater health benefits, pensions and increased hours for part-time workers who are members of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW). Stores will also have to establish their own health and safety committees, a provision added after frontline workers struggled during the pandemic.

Workers had previously voted to authorize a strike after months of negotiations, but the approval of this new three-year contract avoided the conflict.

“Today, tens of thousands of essential grocery workers across Southern California have ratified a contract that is a step in the direction of securing a more promising future for themselves and their families,” seven UFCW Locals said in a joint statement. “The pandemic and its deadly impact on our communities may not be over, but the essential workers who keep California’s grocery stores running have proven it is possible to secure a fair deal when driven by solidarity. This contract will change the lives of these workers and generations of grocery workers for years to come.”

California High Schoolers Could Receive Guaranteed Income

Low-income high school seniors in San Jose could receive up to $1,000 per month, the San Jose Spotlight reports.

The bill, sponsored by State Senator Dave Cortese, would cost the state about $85 million and help up to 15,000 high school seniors. Statistics showing “that 25% of the homeless population was under the age of 25” inspired Cortese to propose this legislation. “Tens of thousands are students who are graduating seniors,” he said to San Jose Spotlight. “They’re graduating; they’ve done nothing to deserve to be homeless. So what are we doing to get them out of homelessness?”

In its current iteration, the basic income program would start immediately after graduation and last for up to five months until the student starts college, vocational training or work.

The program marks one of several initiatives to provide basic income to California residents from different walks of life. Track the other initiatives through our interactive map here.

This article is part of The Bottom Line, a series exploring scalable solutions for problems related to affordability, inclusive economic growth and access to capital. Click here to subscribe to our Bottom Line newsletter.

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Solcyre (Sol) Burga was an Emma Bowen Foundation Fellow with Next City for summer 2021. Burga graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in political science and journalism in May of 2022. As a Newark native and immigrant, she hopes to elevate the voices of underrepresented communities in her work.

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Tags: californiagrocery storesfloridauniversal basic incomedisney

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