JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Speaker of the House Elijah Haahr announced on Friday that the House Budget Committee chairman for the 100th General Assembly will be Rep. Cody Smith.

Smith will replace former Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick who will be stepping down from the House after being tapped by Gov. Mike Parson on Wednesday to fill the vacancy of the state Treasurer.

“Rep. Smith has proven himself to be true steward of Missourians’ hard-earned tax dollars and a leader in securitizing government spending,” said Haahr. “Having served the past months as the vice-chairman and preparing for the session, he is ready to tackle the complexities of the budget process and provide stability on the committee for years to come.”

The House Budget Committee is tasked with crafting and passing the state’s $28 billion operating budget that funds the critical functions of state government. The committee chairman also leads in negotiating differences between budgets proposed by the Governor and the Senate.

Haahr continued, “Passing a balanced budget is the most important responsibility of the Missouri General Assembly and I am confident in Rep. Smith’s ability to ensure every tax dollar spent reflects the priorities of Missourians. Government must live within its means and Rep. Smith will put conservative principles into action to protect from wasteful spending while not raising taxes.”

Smith is a small business owner and realtor with an extensive background in banking and finance. In November, he was elected to his second term in the House. He was appointed vice-chairman of the committee this past summer and has also served as the vice-chairman of the important Fiscal Review committee. There, Smith was instrumental in the thorough review of legislation being considered that would require the state to spend taxpayer money.

“I look forward to bringing my real world insight as a business owner to the Budget Committee,” said Smith. “I thank Speaker Haahr for this appointment and I am ready to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to guide the House in passing a responsible and balanced budget.”

“Cody will do an outstanding job in leading our House Budget Committee as it crafts a fiscally responsible state budget that protects the interests of Missouri taxpayers. I have complete confidence in his abilities, and I know his hard work and integrity have earned him the respect and admiration of all of his colleagues on both sides of the aisle,” said Floor Leader Rob Vescovo. “His experience, strong work ethic, and leadership abilities will allow him to excel in what is one of the most difficult jobs in all of state government. I look forward to working with him to craft a budget that invests in the priorities of Missouri families.”