Eric Schmitt

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This article is about the politician. For others, see Eric Schmitt (disambiguation).
Eric Schmitt
EricHeadShot.jpg
46th Treasurer of Missouri
Assumed office
January 9, 2017
Governor Eric Greitens
Preceded by Clint Zweifel
Member of the Missouri Senate
from the 15th district
In office
January 7, 2009 – January 4, 2017
Preceded by Michael Gibbons
Succeeded by Andrew Koenig
Personal details
Born (1975-06-20) June 20, 1975 (age 41)
Bridgeton, Missouri, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Jaime Schmitt
Children 3
Education Truman State University (BA)
Saint Louis University (JD)
Website Senate website
Campaign website
Government website

Eric S. Schmitt (born June 20, 1975) is an American politician and the 46th State Treasurer of Missouri since 2017. He was previously a member of the Missouri Senate, representing Missouri's 15th State Senate District from 2009 to 2017. He had also previously served as an Alderman for Glendale, Missouri from 2005 to 2008.

Schmitt is considered a rising star in the Republican Party and has an extensive legislative record including reforms for children with special needs, tax cuts and taking on the state's cities and villages using speed traps as a disproportionate part of their budgets.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Bridgeton, Missouri, Schmitt is a sixth-generation Missourian and a lifelong resident of St. Louis County. Schmitt's roots run deep in rural Missouri, with family in the Tipton and Pilot Grove areas in mid-Missouri. Eric’s grandfather served in World War II, serving in the 7th Army and saw major combat as an infantryman. After the war, he returned to Missouri to start a small butcher shop.[1]

Schmitt graduated from DeSmet Jesuit High School in 1993 and from Truman State University in 1997, where he earned a B.A. cum laude in political science. At Truman, Schmitt was a member of the Alpha Kappa Lambda fraternity, played football and baseball, and was a founding member of Truman’s Habitat for Humanity chapter. He received a scholarship to attend St. Louis University School of Law, where he earned his J.D. in 2000.[2] Schmitt was an editor of the law review and published an article analyzing the Supreme Court decision in Clinton v. New York.[3]

Schmitt lives in Glendale with his wife, Jaime, and their three children, Stephen, Sophia and Olivia.[4]

Legal career[edit]

Schmitt was admitted to the Missouri bar in 2000. He is a partner at the firm Lathrop & Gage, LLP, in Clayton, Missouri, where he focuses on land use, real estate, business disputes, and administrative appeals. In his community, he has been an active member for the boards of DeSmet Jesuit High School, Nurses for Newborns Foundation, St. Louis Crisis Nursery, and a Parents as Teachers Program. He had previously been elected chairman of the Young Lawyer Section Council of the Missouri Bar, led a statewide Giving Tree effort to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, and created a Special Needs Advocacy Task Force. He has also been involved with the TS (Tuberous Sclerosis) Alliance, the Gateway Chapter of the Autism Society of America, Habitat for Humanity, and local Chambers of Commerce.[5]

State Senate (2009-2017)[edit]

Schmitt served as an alderman for Glendale, Missouri, from 2005 to 2008. On November 4, 2008, Schmitt was elected to the Missouri Senate. When sworn in, Schmitt became one of the youngest member ever to serve in the state's upper chamber. He represented Missouri's 15th State Senate district, which includes parts of central and western St. Louis County.[6] Following the 2010 census, Schmitt's district was redrawn, although it is still centered around central St. Louis County. On February 28, 2012, Schmitt filed for reelection in the 15th district. He ran unopposed in both the primary and general elections in 2012.[7]

Schmitt serves in Senate Leadership as Majority Caucus Chairman and is Chairman of the Jobs, Economic Development and Local Government Committee. He also serves on the Committee on Gubernatorial Appointments; the Committee on Judicial, Civil, and Criminal Jurisprudence; Veterans’ Affairs and Health Committee; and Chairs the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules.[8]

While serving in the State Senate, Schmitt's priorities include economic development, increasing access to affordable and portable healthcare, promoting government transparency, and ensuring quality education for all Missouri students. In his first year in office, Schmitt successfully pushed legislation that established the MO HealthNet (Medicaid) Data Transparency Program, which created a web portal allowing all Missourians to see what providers charge for their services with just a click of a mouse. Schmitt also sponsored and passed a state constitutional amendment to make the St. Louis County Assessor an elected position so that voters have a more accountable and transparent property assessment process. The amendment was overwhelmingly approved by St. Louis County and Missouri voters in November 2010. Schmitt further advocated for government transparency by successfully pushing legislation to give taxpayers greater online access to more information about their property reassessments. He also sponsored a bill to require additional notice to the public before local governments can vote on tax increases, eminent domain, tax increment financing, or certain projects receiving public funding.

Autism Insurance Reform

In 2009, the Missouri House of Representatives failed to pass a Senate-approved bill regarding autism insurance reform. In response, Schmitt helped to organize a series of statewide public awareness events and rallies, building a grassroots effort to push for reform.[9]

During the 2010 session, both chambers approved autism insurance reform with large bipartisan majorities. Beginning in 2011, Schmitt became a member of Senate Leadership when his colleagues elected him as Majority Caucus Secretary. He also assumed the chairmanship of the Senate Committee on Jobs, Economic Development, and Local Government. That year, he passed a bill phasing out Missouri's franchise tax, which was an outdated double taxation on business assets. When fully phased in, the elimination of the franchise tax will represent the largest tax relief measure in the state's history. He dedicated himself to defending fair and equitable funding for schools in his district.

In addition, Schmitt has worked to enact the federal ABLE Act, to provide 529 savings account opportunities to families with children with special needs, to cover their future costs and allow them to be more financially independent and self-sufficient. The Missouri ABLE program allows anyone to make a tax-deductible contribution of up to $8,000 for an individual or $16,000 for married couples to another person's ABLE account.[10] The bill sponsored by Sen. Schmitt was signed by the Governor in 2015.[11]

Municipal Court Reform

In order to stop local government from treating citizens like ATMs through the use of speed traps, in the State Senate, Eric Schmitt led the effort that banned them and traffic ticket quotas. In 2015, Schmitt sponsored legislation strengthening the state's "Macks' Creek Law," further reducing the cap on municipal revenue from speed traps throughout the state. The Macks Creek law was named for a central Missouri town that tumbled into bankruptcy after the restrictions spoiled its speed trap. It was enacted in 1995 and capped at 45 percent only for tickets written on state and federal routes. It was lowered to 35 percent in 2009 and 30 percent in 2013. Under the new law, which took effect in January 2016, a municipality in St. Louis County cannot derive more than 12.5 percent of its general operating revenue from minor traffic cases. Outside of St. Louis County, the limit is 20 percent.[12]

In 2016, Schmitt followed up on this work and sponsored SB 572, a bill that caps how much cities can collect from citizens for minor ordinance violations. First-time offenses are limited to $200 fines and citizens can no longer be jailed for nonpayment. It also lowers the cap on finds and costs for minor traffic violations. In February 2016, the State Senate voted unanimously in favor of this bill, and sent to the Governor in May 2016. Governor Jay Nixon signed the bill in June 2016.[13]

Legislative Awards and Other Honors[14][edit]

Schmitt has won numerous awards for his service, including:

  • 2016 St. Louis Regional Chamber Legacy Award
  • 2016 Conservation Federation of Missouri, Legislator of the Year Award
  • 2016 St. Louis ARC Superhero for Kids Award
  • 2015 St. Louis Regional Chamber Champion Award
  • 2014 American Conservative Union Defender of Liberty Award
  • 2014 Easter Seals Outstanding Advocate Award
  • 2013 Americans for Prosperity Defender of Prosperity Award
  • 2013 St. Louis Regional Chamber Champion Award
  • 2013 Missouri Police Chiefs Association Just Cause Award
  • 2011 St. Louis County Bar Association Outstanding Young Lawyer
  • 2010 St. Louis Business Journal 40 under 40 class
  • 2010, 2011, and 2012 St. Louis Business Journal Legislative Award
  • 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association's Lewis and Clark Statesman Award
  • 2011 Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry Spirit of Enterprise Award
  • 2011 Associated Industries of Missouri’s (AIM) Good for Business Award
  • 2010, 2012 Homebuilders Association of St. Louis and Eastern Missouri's Legislative Award
  • 2010 Thompson Foundation for Autism's Appreciation Award
  • 2010 Missouri Association of County Development Services President’s Award

2016 election for State Treasurer[edit]

Schmitt did run for re-election to the Missouri State Senate in 2016 because he was term-limited. Instead, Schmitt filed to run for Treasurer of Missouri in the 2016 elections.[15] Schmitt ran as a Republican and was unopposed in the Republican primary.[16] He defeated opponents Democrat Judy Baker and Libertarian Sean O'Toole in the general election.[17]

Electoral history[edit]

2008 Missouri State Senate - District 15[18]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Eric Schmitt 51,366 54.7
Democratic James Trout 42,469 45.3
2012 Missouri State Senate - District 15[19]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Eric Schmitt 77,745 100 +45.3

Op-eds written by Eric Schmitt[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Meet Eric Schmitt - Eric Schmitt". Retrieved 2016-09-19. 
  2. ^ "Senator Eric Schmitt". www.senate.mo.gov. Retrieved 2016-09-19. 
  3. ^ Schmitt, Eric S. (Winter 2000). "There Is No Joy in D.C., The Mighty Court Struck Out: An Analysis of Clinton v. City of New York, The Line Item Veto Act and the Court's Failure to Uphold Constitutionally Legitimate Means to a Viable End". St. Louis University Law Journal. 44: 167. 
  4. ^ "Meet Eric Schmitt - Eric Schmitt". Retrieved 2016-09-19. 
  5. ^ "Lathrop & Gage LLP Clayton, Missouri Profile". Martindale-Hubbell. Retrieved 2009-04-06. Eric S. Schmitt (Partner) born St. Louis, Missouri, 1975; admitted to bar, 2000, Missouri and U.S. District Court, Eastern and Western Districts of Missouri. Education: Truman State University (B.A., cum laude, 1997); St. Louis University (J.D., 2000). Staff Member and Editor, St. Louis University Law Journal. Author: Secretary/ Treasurer and St. Louis County Representative to the Young Lawyers' Section of the Missouri Bar. Alderman in the city of Glendale, Missouri. Member, Board of Trustees for DeSmet Jesuit High School. Volunteer: Habitat for Humanity of St. Louis; TS Alliance. Practice Areas: Litigation; Real Estate; Zoning, Planning and Land Use. 
  6. ^ "Senator Eric Schmitt". www.senate.mo.gov. Retrieved 2016-09-19. 
  7. ^ "Certified Candidate List - State Senator - District 15". Missouri Secretary of State. Retrieved 2012-06-15. 
  8. ^ "Senator Eric Schmitt". www.senate.mo.gov. Retrieved 2016-09-19. 
  9. ^ "Autism Insurance Coverage in Missouri Update: SB 167 survives first round of floor debate in Senate, a few more hurdles lie ahead!". Missouri Autism Coalition. March 23, 2009. Archived from the original on July 5, 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-06. 
  10. ^ "Governor signs bill allowing savings accounts for disabilities". 2015-06-30. Retrieved 2016-09-23. 
  11. ^ "Missouri legislators continue autism successes with bill signature - The Missouri Times". themissouritimes.com. Retrieved 2016-09-23. 
  12. ^ Stuckey, Alex. "Cap on non-traffic violation revenue passed by Missouri Senate". Retrieved 2016-09-19. 
  13. ^ "State Senate votes to ban traffic-ticket quotas". 2016-02-05. Retrieved 2016-09-23. 
  14. ^ "Senator Eric Schmitt". www.senate.mo.gov. Retrieved 2016-09-19. 
  15. ^ Group, Sinclair Broadcast. "Schmitt running for MO treasurer in 2016". Retrieved 2016-09-29. 
  16. ^ "SOS, Missouri - Elections: Offices Filed in Candidate Filing". s1.sos.mo.gov. Retrieved 2016-09-29. 
  17. ^ IT, Missouri Secretary of State -. "State of Missouri - Election Night Results". enrarchives.sos.mo.gov. Retrieved 2016-09-29. 
  18. ^ "State Senator - District 15 - Summary". Missouri Secretary of State. Retrieved 2012-06-15. 
  19. ^ "State Senator - District 15 - Summary". Missouri Secretary of State. Retrieved 2012-06-15. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Clint Zweifel
Treasurer of Missouri
2017–present
Incumbent