Eric Schmitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Eric Schmitt

A man with an American flag stands in front of a Ferguson Police car earlier in July.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio | file photo

If you’ve developed an interest in legislation inspired by the unrest in Ferguson, then you’ve probably seen some strong adjectives attached to a law known as Senate Bill 5.  

Sen. Eric Schmitt’s legislation has been described as “sweeping,” “multi-faceted,” “massive,” “broad” and "significant.” It lowers the percentage of traffic fine revenue cities can keep; prompts St. Louis County cities to adhere to certain standards; and provides new guidelines for how municipal courts should operate.

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

This week, the Politically Speaking podcast team welcomes Missouri state Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-Glendale, the chief sponsor of the broad court-reform bill known as Senate Bill 5.

Gov. Jay Nixon signed the bill into law last week. Among other things, it restricts the percentage of income that a municipality can collect from traffic fines and related court fees.

Northwoods Mayor Everett Thomas says a recently-passed bill curtailing municipal courts could prompt his city to cut staff or services.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Jaquin Holmes has had his share of frustration with the way municipal courts in St. Louis County operate. During a meeting of the Ferguson Commission last year, the St. Louis resident talked about being treated harshly for what deemed to be minor traffic offenses.

Holmes said he’s encountered a broken system. And he wanted the Missouri General Assembly to step up.

Senate Majority Leader Ron Richard, R-Joplin, and Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, wait out the final hours of the Missouri Senate's session. Both men were strong proponents of "right to work" legislation, which is opposed strongly by labor unions.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

It wasn't particularly surprising that state Sen. Bob Onder was pushing hard to get so-called "right to work" legislation through a seemingly intractable Missouri Senate.

The Lake Saint Louis Republican campaigned last year in support of right to work, which bars arrangements that force workers to pay union dues if a majority voted to organize. He supported that measure even though the population of union members has steadily increased in St. Charles County, which may be why his two unsuccessful GOP rivals opposed right to work during the campaign.

Sen. Eric Schmitt's legislation limiting traffic fines could make it easier for cities to dissolve. The current process involves collecting hundreds -- if not thousands -- of signatures, and is only available to certain classes of cities.
Rebecca Smith | St. Louis Public Radio

There are times the Missouri General Assembly can be a factory of cynicism. Simple proposals can get massaged, manipulated and altered so much that the end result satisfies no one.

Some thought that that would be fate of state Sen. Eric Schmitt’s legislation lowering the percentage of fine revenue a city could have in its budget.

(via Flickr/davidsonscott15)

Legislation to cap the amount of revenue from traffic fines cities and towns in Missouri can include in their budgets is getting early attention in this year's regular session.

Under the current law, known as the Macks Creek law, local municipalities can receive up to 30 percent of their income from speeding tickets and other traffic citations.  That would drop to 10 percent if the proposed measure becomes law. 

Missouri State Capitol Building
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Just after the sun set on Nov. 24 — the day that then-Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson’s fate would be disclosed to the world — Missouri's Gov. Jay Nixon faced a throng of reporters at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. 

Appearing before cameras that would simulcast his words across the globe, the Democratic governor talked  at length about how law enforcement officials were ready to respond to the grand jury’s decision. 

Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-Glendale, Nov 11, 2014
Rebecca Smith | St. Louis Public Radio

A Republican state senator has pre-filed legislation that would lower the amount of traffic fines a city can keep. 

Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-Glendale, wants to lower the amount of traffic tickets and fines a city can keep.
Rebecca Smith, St. Louis Public Radio

The Politically Speaking podcast team this week welcomed back state Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-Glendale.  He was the podcast’s first political guest back in June 2013.

Now, he’s ending his second term in the state Senate and already has launched a bid for state treasurer in 2016.

Schmitt also has the distinction of being the Missouri General Assembly’s tallest member.

DO NOT USE too small
Missouri Senate website

State Sen. Eric Schmitt, R- Glendale, has amassed more than $1.5 million in the bank in his bid to become Missouri’s next state treasurer – a notably hefty campaign war chest aimed in part in unsettling any potential 2016 rivals.

Schmitt provided St. Louis Public Radio with an advanced copy of his latest campaign-finance report, due today with the Missouri Ethics Commission.

His latest report, coupled with one he filed in late July right before the Aug. 5 primary, shows that Schmitt has raised $726, 700 since July 1.

(via Flickr/Tracy O)

A fundraising quarter before an election is when Missouri politics starts getting real. 

And by “getting real,” I mean getting "real expensive.”

Tuesday is the deadline for campaign committees to turn in their fund-raising reports. These are the documents showing how much money political candidates and ballot initiatives have for the final push to the Aug. 5 primary.  They can also reveal how much cash is being shelled out in competitive primaries.

stacks of money
sxc.hu

The first week of July has been a boon for the main group campaigning for the proposed transportation sales tax on the Aug. 5 ballot and for just-announced Republican state treasurer candidate Eric Schmitt.

In the last 24 hours alone, Missourians for Safe Transportation & New Jobs Inc. has collected at least $410,000 – much of it from road construction firms and related unions.

DO NOT USE too small
Missouri Senate website

Missouri state Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-Glendale, has changed his expected political plans by announcing Wednesday that he’s running for Missouri state treasurer in 2016.

Schmitt had been a key player in the last two GOP legislative battles for tax cuts -- one successful, and one not.

Schmitt, a lawyer, is the first from either major party to officially announce for state treasurer, which will be up for grabs in 2016.  Democratic incumbent Clint Zweifel can’t run for a third term because the office, along with governor, is limited to two terms.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

As St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley and Councilman Steve Stenger, D-Affton, duke it out in a very public fashion, a lower-key primary is transpiring on the Republican side. Missouri House Budget Chairman Rick Stream, R-Kirkwood, and Green Park Alderman Tony Pousosa are angling to reach the November election, with both emphasizing their professional experience and personal styles.

Since 1991 when Buzz Westfall became county executive, the office has been in Democratic hands.  But some prominent Republicans are bullish about the party’s chances this year.

Harrison Sweazea, Mo. Senate

Stephen Schmitt is the 9-year-old son of Mo. State Senator Eric Schmitt, R-Glendale.  Stephen suffers from epilepsy, tuberous sclerosis, and has also been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. He is unable to speak and requires near-constant care.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

A proposed tax cut that conformed to conditions laid out by Gov. Jay Nixon was radically altered Monday in an effort to move the overall proposal forward.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Five identical bills that would each revamp Missouri's student transfer law were examined Wednesday by a State Senate committee.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Governor Jay Nixon's (D) proposal to land production of Boeing's 777X passenger jet is two steps closer to success, as the Missouri Senate gave it both first-round and final approval Wednesday.

(via Flickr/bradleypjohnson)

A proposed rule change that would have allowed more ethanol to be blended into gasoline sold in Missouri has been shot down by a joint legislative committee.

Earlier this week, the Missouri Department of Agriculture asked the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules to allow the change, saying that E-15 is both safe and good for the state's economy.  But State Senator and committee chair Eric Schmitt (R, Glendale) says the proposal would have violated state law.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Amid a string of controversies hitting St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley’s administration, area Republicans so far have failed to come up with a well-known candidate to challenge Dooley’s bid for re-election next year.

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