|Member of the Illinois Senate from the 31st District|
January 12, 2011 – January 9, 2013
|Preceded by||Michael Bond|
|Succeeded by||Melinda Bush|
|Board Chairman of Lake County, IL|
December 6, 2000 – December 13, 2010
|Preceded by||Jim LaBelle|
|Succeeded by||David Stolman|
|Alma mater||Southern Illinois University|
Suzi Schmidt is a former Republican Illinois State Senator, representing the 31st district from January 2011 to January 2013. She previously served as Chairman of the Board of Lake County, Illinois from 2000 to 2010.
Education and early career
Schmidt was elected to the Lake County Board in 1988, representing the communities of Lake Villa and Lindenhurst. In 1988 she also became the Commissioner of the Lake County Forest Preserve, a position she held from 1988 to 2010. She was elected as Chairman of the Lake County Board in 2000, replacing incumbent Jim LaBelle. Schmidt was the first female Chairman of Lake County, and is notable for presiding over a decade during which the County Board consistently passed balanced budgets. Schmidt resigned from the County Board in January 2011 to assume her new position as an Illinois State Senator.
Shortly after taking office, Schmidt joined with other Senate Republicans in proposing a plan which would introduce more than $5 billion in reductions to government spending intended to "maintain core government services and also [prevent an] income tax increase".
Schmidt sponsored an amendment to the Deposit of State Moneys Act which places restrictions on the Illinois Treasurer's power to invest state funds. The bill passed both Houses of the Illinois General Assembly and was sent to the office of the Governor. She also acted as the chief Senate sponsor of a bill which authorizes law enforcement agencies to collect pharmaceuticals for safe disposal.
Schmidt was a co-sponsor to legislation which would have allowed the practice of concealed carry in Illinois. She also co-sponsored a bipartisan resolution introduced by Democratic Senator Kwame Raoul which would amended the Illinois Constitution to consolidate the positions of State Treasurer and State Comptroller.
In 2011 Schmidt was appointed to the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability, which provides the Legislature with research and information regarding state and national economies, revenue projections and operations of Illinois Government. She was also appointed to the Illinois Council on Aging during her first year in office.
In September 2011, the Illinois Environmental Council, a state environmental advocacy group, awarded Schmidt the Environmental Leadership Award for her work with the Lake County Forest Preserve.
Schmidt was appointed Minority Spokesperson of the Local Government Committee during the 97th session of the Illinois General Assembly. She served on the following six committees:
- Appropriations II Committee
- Commerce Committee
- Education Committee
- Financial Institutions Committee
- Local Government Committee (Minority Spokesperson)
- Subcommittee on Annexation
Schmidt and her husband Bob were married in 1980 and currently reside in Lake Villa, Illinois.
On August 16, 2011, police were called to the Schmidt home by Bob Schmidt regarding a domestic dispute. Police did not release further details on the ongoing investigation of what they called a "verbal argument." As of August 19, 2011, no further details had been released regarding the verbal argument.
The police were again called to the Schmidt home twice in September 2011. The last 911 call made on September 26 was recorded, and has led to implications that Schmidt may have intended to use her political position to influence Lake County authorities against intervening in the matter. Schmidt later issued a press release to deny that this was her intent and apologize for the inappropriateness of the comments. Robert Schmidt consistently conveyed to the media that he considered the affair to be a private matter and did not wish to comment further.
Schmidt was arrested by Lake County Sheriff’s deputies in the early evening of June 12, 2012 on a misdemeanor warrant alleging that she damaged her neighbor’s property and trespassed, both stemming from a dispute with her neighbor. Officers also served Schmidt with an “emergency stalking no contact order,” which orders her to stay away from the same neighbor, according to a press release issued by Chief Wayne Hunter, spokesman for the sheriff’s office. According to the warrant, she trespassed on her neighbor's property after being warned previously to stay off their property and damaged her neighbor’s animal’s feed bag in the videorecorded incident that led to her arrest.
- "Lake County Board, Forest Preserve welcome new leadership". Retrieved 2011-06-21.
- "Senator Suzi Schmidt (IL)". Retrieved 2011-06-21.
- "Lake County Chairman Taps Journalist to Fill Board Vacancy". Retrieved 2011-06-21.
- "Child of the 60's Leads Board as Politicasl Outsider". Retrieved 2011-06-21.
- "Tax Increase Unlikely in Lake County Budget". Retrieved 2011-06-21.
- "Lake County Government Goes Leaner". Retrieved 2011-06-21.[dead link]
- "County Board OKs Balanced Budget". Retrieved 2011-06-21.
- "County Board members, sheriff refuse raises, $498M balanced budget OK'd". Retrieved 2011-06-21.
- "Suzi Schmidt". Retrieved 2011-06-21.
- "Schmidt Proposes Budget Reductions". Retrieved 2011-06-21.
- "Bill Status of SB1263". Retrieved 2011-06-21.
- "Bill Status of HB2056". Retrieved 2011-06-21.
- "Bill Status of SB82". Retrieved 2011-06-21.
- "Bill Status of SJRCA0013". Retrieved 2011-06-21.
- "Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability". Retrieved 2011-06-23.
- "Illinois Environmental Council's 9th Annual Environmental Leadership Dinner". Retrieved 2011-01-10.
- , "'Verbal argument' brings deputies to state senator's home," Chicago Tribune. 19 Aug 2011.