Missouri’s governor announced on Wednesday in Jefferson City that he is appointing House Budget Committee Chairman Scott Fitzpatrick, R-Shell Knob, as the next State Treasurer.
Fitzpatrick will replace Eric Schmitt, who will become Missouri Attorney General in early January, after Senator-Elect Josh Hawley (R) is sworn-in to the U.S. Senate in Washington.
Governor Mike Parson (R) made the announcement during a Statehouse press conference, where he praised the southwest Missouri Republican.
“The individual (Fitzpatrick) has more experience and knowledge of the state budget than any other elected official,” Parson says. “And, as a millennial, he will soon be one of the youngest statewide officials in modern times.”
Fitzpatrick, who served three House terms, is 31 years old. Governor Parson notes Fitzpatrick built his small business, MariCorp US, into a multi-million dollar enterprise. The company is a leader in boat dock manufacturing in the United States.
Governor Parson was flanked by several dozen Missouri lawmakers during Wednesday’s press conference. Fitzpatrick tells the Capitol Press Corps he’s excited about his new position.
“Anybody who knows me knows that I’m a passionate advocate for government transparency and reforming government in ways that improve the lives of the people of the state,” says Fitzpatrick.
Fitzpatrick tells reporters he’s humbled by the appointment. He thanks the governor, his legislative colleagues, his family and his southwest Missouri constituents.
His House district includes Barry, Lawrence and Stone counties.
He says he’ll also focus on government efficiency, as Treasurer. As Budget Chair, Fitzpatrick has played a key role in reviewing Missouri’s $28-billion operating budget.
Governor Parson’s appointment gets a thumbs-up from many GOP lawmakers, and Fitzpatrick is also being praised by the Budget Committee’s top Democrat.
Parson tells reporters he and Fitzpatrick didn’t always agree on issues. A reporter asked Fitzpatrick about that.
“I’ve had a really good working relationship with this governor’s office, and everybody is going to disagree from time to time. But I’m looking forward to my role as the State Treasurer, and it won’t have anything to do with writing the state budget anymore,” Fitzpatrick says.
In September, Fitzpatrick led the Missouri House’s successful override of the governor’s line-item veto of $153,000 in funding for the Time Critical Diagnosis (TCD) System, which connects 911 and ambulance services with hospitals designated as trauma and/or stroke centers.
The Missouri Senate did not attempt to override the veto in September.
House Budget Committee ranking Democrat Kip Kendrick, D-Columbia, praises Fitzpatrick, tweeting Wednesday that “no one was more willing to stand up for legislative branch even when it put him at odds with executive branch.”
Kendrick says the loss of Budget Chairman Fitzpatrick in the House “was significant and will be felt.”
Parson says he doesn’t have a specific date yet, for when Fitzpatrick will be sworn-in. Fitzpatrick’s new salary will be about $107,000.
Senate President Pro Tem-designee Dave Schatz, R-Sullivan, incoming Senate Majority Leader Caleb Rowden, R-Columbia, House Speaker Elijah Haahr, R-Springfield, and House Majority Leader Rob Vescovo, R-Arnold, were some of the lawmakers who attended the press conference.
Click here to listen to the full press conference that took place on December 19, 2018 featuring Governor Mike Parson and incoming State Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick:
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