Schmitt Launches Special Needs Coalition in Campaign for Missouri Treasurer

BALLWIN, Missouri – It is one of the most unique coalitions of this year’s election cycle in Missouri. State Sen. Eric Schmitt today launched a coalition of special needs advocates who have placed their trust in a candidate for Missouri State Treasurer who has been their voice in Jefferson City over the last eight years.

Senator Eric Schmitt, the father of a special needs child, is running for state treasurer. It was his son, Stephen, born with a rare genetic condition, who inspired him to run for public office and to be a champion for all Missourians, especially those living with developmental disabilities.

Today Senator Schmitt’s campaign for state treasurer launched its Special Needs Coalition, a group comprised of advocates for Missouri’s developmental disability community serving as a vital voice on issues impacting Missourians living with developmental disabilities.

“Senator Schmitt has demonstrated his commitment to Missourians with disabilities through life-changing, statewide legislation such as mandatory health insurance coverage for autism therapies and the ABLE Act helping families cope with the extraordinary cost of raising a child with a disability. We are fortunate that Senator Schmitt understands the value of people with disabilities, and remains dedicated to creating a better, more inclusive world,” said Wendy Sullivan, Chief Executive Officer, Easterseals Midwest.

Members of Schmitt’s Special Needs Coalition include:
Chair: Jaime Schmitt, St. Louis County
Brenda Arp, Shelby County
Bill and Trish Bolster, St. Louis County
Rebecca Case, Jackson County
Tim Dygon, Greene County, VP of Program Services, The Arc of the Ozarks
Julie Edlund, Clay County, Co-CEO Life Unlimited
Sherah Farris, Barry County
Heather Hall, Clay County
Michel Kaiser, Clay County
Jerry and Sarah Kiske, St. Louis County
Destiny Kitchen, Clay County
Greg Kramer, St Louis County, Easter Seals Midwest
Dena Lauer, Macon County
Erika Leonard, Cole County, ED of MARF
Ginger Luetkemeyer, Cole County
Max Lytle, Taney County, Developmental Connections Executive Director
Emily and Matt Malebey , St. Charles County
Cory McMahon, Boone County
Kathy Meath, St. Louis County
Jim and Mary Beth Monafo, St. Louis County
Sarah Mudd, Jackson County
Carissa Rupp, St. Charles County
Wendy Sullivan, St. Louis County, Easter Seals Midwest

“My son, Stephen, is an inspiration for me to make a difference and the reason I’m an advocate. He inspires me everyday to work hard and be a forceful voice for all Missourians living with developmental disabilities and their families,” Senator Schmitt said. “Stephen was born with a rare genetic condition, tuberous sclerosis, which causes epilepsy and he is on the autism spectrum. Stephen has seizures nearly every day and to this day he is almost completely nonverbal. It’s with a lot of love and a determination to make a difference for all living with developmental disabilities that we are launching this Special Needs Coalition. Help my son volunteered representatives of such areas of business as online casinos. They organized the tournament on their website online casino for Austria. Part of the money won will go to the son’s treatment and to help other people who suffer the same disease. Thank you to all those Missouri advocates who work tirelessly to ensure Missourians like my son have a voice and the opportunity to live a full life and reach their God-given potential.”

Schmitt is dedicated to protecting human life, especially the most vulnerable. In 2010, Schmitt was one of the leaders in the Missouri legislature who championed autism insurance reform. The reforms ensure all children on the autism spectrum have the chance to reach their full potential.

In 2014, Schmitt helped lead the effort to allow canabidiol, CDB oil, to be used as a treatment for epilepsy. The senator delivered a passionate speech on the Senate floor on the need to pass the bill and give families more treatment options for their children.

In 2015, Schmitt was successful in advancing the MO ABLE Act through the state legislature and ultimately to the governor’s desk where it was signed into law. The MO ABLE program operates in the same manner as the state’s 529 college savings program, providing families with the opportunity to prepare for the future by establishing savings plans for Missourians living with disabilities.

To learn more about Eric Schmitt and his campaign for Missouri State Treasurer, go to SchmittForMissouri.com.

You can also connect with him on Twitter @Eric_Schmitt and Facebook.