Matt Schaefer

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Matt Schaefer
Texas State Representative from District 6 (Smith County)
Assumed office
Preceded by Leo Berman
Personal details
Born Matthew Ray Schaefer
(1976-02-11) February 11, 1976 (age 40)[1]
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Jasilyn Schaefer
Residence Tyler, Smith County, Texas, USA
Alma mater
Occupation Attorney, politician
Religion Southern Baptist
Military service
Service/branch United States Navy

Matthew Ray Schaefer, known as Matt Schaefer (born February 11, 1976),[2] is the current Texas State Representative for District 6. Schaefer is assigned to the Defense & Veterans' Affairs and Urban Affairs committees.[3]

Early life[edit]

Schaefer attended Cisco Junior College, where he played football. Then he attended Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas,[4] where he obtained a bachelor's degree in finance and a law degree from Texas Tech University School of Law.[4]

Political career[edit]

In 1999, he worked on staff for Senator Phil Gramm in Tyler.[5] Upon Sen. Gramm's retirement, Schaefer joined the Navy Reserves and attended law school at Texas Tech University in Lubbock. Schaefer subsequently served as counsel to the chairman of the Sunset Advisory Commission, state representative Carl Isett, on bills regarding insurance and transportation.[5]

Schafer was first elected to the Texas House of Representatives in November 2012, after successfully challenging incumbent representative Leo Berman. Schaeffer unseated Berman in the Republican primary election, on May 29, 2012. He received 11,138 votes, or 57.7%, to Berman's 8,172 votes, or 42.3%.[6] Schaefer was unopposed in the November general election.

Legislative Record[edit]

83rd Legislative Session: 2013 84th Legislative Session: 2015

Political positions[edit]

Anti-Abortion In 2015 Rep. Schaefer put forward Amendment 18 to the Texas Health and Safety Code, attaching it to CSHB 2510, an unrelated health agency bill. The amendment would require women to carry non-viable fetuses to term by repealing language which would allow an abortion in the case of a baby developing with "a severe and irreversible abnormality," defined in the Code as "a life threatening physical condition that, in reasonable medical judgment, regardless of the provision of life saving medical treatment, is incompatible with life outside the womb."[7] Rep. Schaefer justified his amendment by asserting that the disabled deserve the same protection inside the womb that they receive once born. Rep. Spitzer, a doctor, argued for the amendment, saying, "We want them [mothers, parents] to be able to have that child and have that grieving process." Rep. Sheffield, also a doctor, disagreed, saying, "[A]s a doctor—for my patients it is unethical for we doctors to impose upon them a set of guidelines that forces them in one direction or another, taking away their rights." [8] Rep. Schaefer’s amendment passed with a solid majority, but Democrats killed the whole bill using a technical objection. When the bill returned to the House floor weeks later, it had been re-written so that Schaefer’s amendment would no longer be “germane,” or topically relevant to the bill and unable to be attached.[9]

In 2013, Schaefer voted for Texas Senate Bill 5 to make it more difficult for women to obtain abortions or counseling on their options by requiring doctors who provide abortion services to be registered at hospitals within 30 miles of their office.[10]

Gun Rights In 2015, Rep. Schaefer passed an amendment to the Open Carry bill which will lower the penalty for inadvertently entering a place that displays a sign prohibiting handguns (aka 30.06 notice). Currently, this unintentional act could result in serious jail time and permanent loss of the person’s handgun license. Schaefer claimed that the punishment didn’t fit the crime.[11]

Education Despite his insistence that doctors should go through extra regulations, Rep. Schaefer worked hard to lower standards in schools, by allowing vocational classes to be taught by uncertified teachers. Local schools will now be able to hire highly qualified career and technology teachers who may not have a traditional education degree. The bill he authored was included in a larger education bill signed by Governor Abbott![12]

In the summer of 2013, state representative John T. Smithee headlined a fund-raiser for Schaefer in Tyler. Speculation mounted that Smithee would in January 2015 challenge the reelection of Speaker Joe Straus, who was expected to seek a fourth term as the presiding House officer. Joining Smithee in support of Schaefer were Rick Miller, Drew Springer, Jr., David Simpson, and two members who were running against each other for the Texas State Senate, Steve Toth and Brandon Creighton. Most of the lawmakers in attendance were associated with the Tea Party movement.[13]

Schaefer won renomination to a second term to the District 6 House seat in the Republican primary, held March 4, 2014. He defeated Tyler businessman Skip M. Ogle, 9,888, or 61.1%, to 6,304, or 38.3%.[14]

Personal life[edit]

Schaefer attends Green Acres Baptist Church.[4] He met his wife there in 2001.[4]


  1. ^ "State Rep. Matt Schaefer District 6 (R-Tyler)". Texas Tribune. Retrieved June 22, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Find a Lawyer". state Bar of Texas. Retrieved June 23, 2013. 
  3. ^ "House Committee Assignments". Burnt Orange Report. Retrieved June 22, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d "About Matt". Matt for Texas. Retrieved June 22, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "Future freshman legislator Schaefer finds his new seat". Tyler Morning Telegraph. Retrieved June 22, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Republican primary election returns, May 29, 2012". Retrieved May 30, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Heath and Safety Code, Title 4, Subtitle D, Chapter 285, Sec. 285.202". Texas Legislature Online. Retrieved May 9, 2016. 
  8. ^ "House Journal, 84th Legislature, Regular Session" (PDF). Texas Legislature Online. April 23, 2015. Retrieved May 9, 2016. 
  9. ^ Walters, Edgar; Ura, Alexa (April 23, 2015). "Health Agency Bill Pulled Amid Heated Abortion Debate". Texas Tribune. 
  10. ^ "Record Vote Taken". Texas Legislature Online. Retrieved June 26, 2013. 
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Paul Burka, "A Brewing Speaker's Race?", August 20, 2013". Texas Monthly. Retrieved March 2, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Republican primary election returns, March 4, 2014". Retrieved March 5, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Texas House of Representatives
Preceded by
Leo Berman
Texas State Representative from District 6 (Smith County)
Matthew Ray "Matt" Schaefer

Succeeded by