Born in Bridgeton, Missouri, Schmitt is a sixth-generation Missourian and a lifelong resident of St. Louis County.
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. Schmitt was an editor of the law review and published an article analyzing the Supreme Court decision in Clinton v. New York.
Schmitt lives in Glendale with his wife, Jaime, and their three children, Stephen, Sophia and Olivia.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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. The bill sponsored by Schmitt was signed by the Governor in 2015.
In 2016, Schmitt sponsored a bill (S.B. 572) that set a limit on the percent of revenue that Missouri local governments could obtain from non-traffic fines (such as fines for violation of city ordinances). Existing state law had set a revenue limit on the percent of revenue that municipalities could obtain from traffic fines The bill passed the state Senate in a 25-6 vote in January 2016.
Schmitt also co-sponsored legislation "to bar cities, counties and law-enforcement agencies from setting traffic-ticket quotas"; this bill unanimously passed the state Senate in February 2016. Schmitt co-sponsored the bill with Democratic Sen. Jamilah Nasheed; the legislation aimed to respond to respond "to criticism some communities have been too reliant on raising money from issuing these and other types of citations."
Schmitt did not 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. Schmitt ran as a Republican and was unopposed in the Republican primary. He defeated opponents Democrat Judy Baker and Libertarian Sean O'Toole in the general election.USA Today: No more taxation by citation in Ferguson (August 9, 2016)
St. Louis American: Advancing social justice reform for Missouri (May 31, 2016)
Kansas City Star: Letter to the editor: Missouri Tax Cut (March 3, 2016)
Columbia Daily Tribune: Reforming Mizzou: Earning back the taxpayers' trust (January 10, 2016)
Wall Street Journal: ‘Taxation by Citation’ Undermines Trust Between Cops and Citizens (August 7, 2015)
St. Louis American: Ferguson reform: ending taxation by citation (July 8, 2015)
St. Louis American: Ferguson reform: ending taxation by citation (June 24, 2015)