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Politically Speaking: Republican Eric Schmitt lays out his vision for the state treasurer's office

Sen. Eric Schmitt
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio
Sen. Eric Schmitt

Eric Schmitt, the GOP candidate for Missouri treasurer, joins St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies for the latest Politically Speaking podcast.

It’s Schmitt’s fourth appearance on the show.

Schmitt, a state senator from Glendale, faces Democrat Judy Baker on Nov. 8. Baker also has been featured on Politically Speaking.

Schmitt, 41, has been in the state Senate since 2009 and – win or lose in the treasurer contest -- he will be leaving that chamber at the end of this year because of term limits.

Schmitt, who has a son with autism, points to his work to persuade the General Assembly in 2010 to pass a bill requiring insurers to cover treatment for autistic children. He also has been active in promoting measures that he says would help the state’s economic environment, including the 2011 elimination of the state’s business franchise tax, and income tax cuts approved in 2013 (overridden by the governor) and in 2014 (became law).

Schmitt was the major sponsor of legislation in 2015 that revamped state law regarding fines and fees that can be imposed by local courts.

Among his observations on the show:

  • Schmitt’s chief issue is his pledge to block any state investment dollars from going to companies that conduct business with countries that promote terrorism, notably Iran, Syria and Sudan. The state already has such a policy, but Schmitt is concerned that the federal government’s new deal with Iran could hamstring state divestiture laws. Schmitt says his stance is the biggest difference between him and Baker.
  • The state treasurer serves on several state-government boards, including the ones covering pensions for state employees and tax credits for low-income housing. Schmitt said he will be guided by his philosophy as “a fiscal conservative,” and his reputation as “a reformer.”
  • His largest campaign donor is wealthy financier Rex Sinquefield, who has given $750,000 to Schmitt since 2014. Schmitt said he’s proud of that help, but adds that’s a fraction of the $3 million he has raised.
  • He wants to promote more usage of the state’s MOST program, which allows families to create tax-deferred college savings accounts.
  • He is seeking to set up an online portal so that the public can monitor state-government spending.

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Follow Jo Mannies on Twitter: @jmannies

Follow Eric Schmitt on Twitter:@eric_schmitt

Music: "I Want to Be Adored" by The Stone Roses

Jason is the politics correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.
Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.