JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri’s former House budget chair has taken on the role of the state’s Chief Financial Officer.
On Monday, Scott Fitzpatrick was sworn-in as Missouri’s 47th State Treasurer in a ceremony officiated by Barry County Associate Judge Johnnie Cox. Fitzpatrick was appointed by Gov. Mike Parson to complete the nearly two-years left on Eric Schmitt’s treasurer term. Schmitt was appointed to fill the vacancy in the attorney general’s office following Josh Hawley’s election to the U.S. Senate.
Based on the date in which Fitzpatrick was sworn-in, he will be eligible to serve two full terms as treasurer after he completes Schmitt’s term. The office of state treasurer and governor are the only two statewide offices that have limits a person has serve.
The youngest statewide official in Missouri, Fitzpatrick is 31-years-old, a small business owner and former lawmaker. He was first elected to the Missouri House in 2012, at age 25. He served as Budget Committee Chairman in 2017 and 2018. A lifelong Missourian, Fitzpatrick graduated from Cassville High School and the University of Missouri.
“My experience as a business owner has prepared me to lead the Treasurer’s Office,” Fitzpatrick said. “When people depend on you for their paycheck to provide for their families, you learn quickly how important strong decision making is, how important adequate planning is, and how important it is to be responsible. I view the role of the State Treasurer as a protector of state funds so that Missouri schools can continue to be fully funded, Missouri businesses can continue to grow, and Missouri families can continue to prosper — all which ensure that Missouri will continue to thrive.”
The state treasurer’s office is charged with protecting taxpayer funds from fraud and abuse, safeguarding more than $988 million in Unclaimed Property, managing small business and agriculture economic development programs, and administering the state’s tax-advantaged education and disability savings plans.
“As a small business owner and legislator, Scott has built his career with a proven track record of being a wise steward and protector of the people’s money,” Parson said. “From his experience as House Budget Chairman, Scott is fully qualified, ready to lead, and brings strong fiscal conservative principles to the Treasurer’s office.”
First, Fitzpatrick wants to get a firm grasp on the workings of office and to finish hiring staff.
“The first thing we are going to do is really get a firm grasp on the day to day functions and operations, make sure all the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed,” said Fitzpatrick. “We are still in staff hiring mode… we’ve only had about three weeks…meeting with division directors, doing a transition review, I imagine it will take a little bit more time and then we’ll get into the details.”
Fitzpatrick said he would continue his predecessor’s work on Missouri’s MOST 529, Missouri FIRST, and MOABLE along with other programs.
“I know something [Schmitt] and I feel strongly about is MOABLE, that’s something he basically started from scratch in the treasurer’s office and has grown to about 900 accounts,” said Fitzpatrick. “I want to continue that growth…That is something that touches both former-Treasurer Schmitt and I personally.”
Alisha Shurr is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine. She joined the Missouri Times in January 2018 after working as a copy editor for her hometown newspaper in Southern Oregon. Alisha is a graduate of Kansas State University. Contact Alisha at email@example.com.