Two area legislators will represent the Panhandle in new roles. On Tuesday, re-elected State Senator Don Gaetz was sworn in as the Senate president and re-elected State Representative Marti Coley was sworn in as Speaker of the House Pro-Tem.
Marti Coley says this is an exciting time for her and the panhandle as she works hand in hand with the Florida House Speaker, Will Weatherford. She will help in setting the house agenda and looking at the policy the house will want to move forward with.
"I will also be there for him [Will Weatherford] , to help and support him, and work with members, and help members as they need help if they need help working a bill through the process or working through issues," says Coley.
Coley says she'll work closely with committees and be there to voice her opinion on key decisions and policies. She says issues like agriculture, economic recovery, and education are very important to those in the Panhandle, and she will push for those to be discussed. She says she would like to see something done for students who might not be preparing to go directly to college right after they graduate.
"What can we do to help them?," questions Coley, "Walk out of high school with some type of either industry, certification, or career focus."
She also says manufacturing jobs are extremely important to the Panhandle and would like to try and remove barriers to bringing back the jobs to Florida.
The 2013 Legislative Regular Session begins in March.