The two members of Franklin County’s legislative delegation in Tallahassee will have active hands in shaping education policy for the state.
State Sen. Corey Simon, the newly elected Republican who defeated incumbent Democrat Loranne Ausley in last month’s’ general election, was named this week by Senate President Kathleen Passidomo to chair the Education Pre-K -12 committee and to serve on the Appropriations Committee on Education and the Education Postsecondary committee.
The new state senator for District #3 will also serve on the Agriculture, Fiscal Policy, Regulated Industries and Rules committees, the Appropriations Committee on Health and Human Services and the Joint Legislative Auditing Committee.
In the Florida House, State Rep. Jason Shoaf, who was reelected without opposition in District #7, was named by House Speaker Paul Renner to chair the Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee, one of seven subcommittees in the Appropriations committee.
Simon, who made his first post-election visit to Franklin County by attending the Veterans Day program at the St. George Island lighthouse Nov. 11, said he’s looking forward to getting to work.
“I thank everybody for their support and belief in what I bring to the table,” he said. “I’m excited for the opportunity to represent this district. Finally District 3 has a seat at the table and I look forward to putting District 3 on the menu. It means a lot to me to be able to serve and now to be able to do it at this scale, it’s pretty positive.”
Simon pledged to do hands-on learning as he gets to know the issues in Franklin County.
“A lot of it has to do with spending time over here in Franklin County and sitting down with the leadership here in the community, sitting down with the folks, and finding out what those problems are,” he said. “We did a lot of that during the course of the campaign, coming over here and sitting down with people and listening to what they have to say.”
He also said he hopes to consider the views from both sides of the aisle as he weighs his votes.
“I think a huge part of leadership is learning when to shut up and sit down and listen,” Simon said. “I’ve learned that over the years and I’ll continue to do that. It’s paid off for me thus far and I don’t think I have all the right answers but what I do profess to do is sit down and listen to what people have to say, to make sure their concerns are being met and helped.
“The way I ran my campaign I kept it very positive and stuck to the issues. A good idea is a good idea, regardless of who has it,” he said. “I’ve always approached life that way. I don’t profess to think that one party over the other has all of the solutions to every problem and we have to be able work together to get things done and that’s the way I’ll continue to focus on during my time in the Senate.”