In 2018, Louis C. “Lou” Schmitt Jr. was chosen by the people of the 79th Legislative District in Blair County to represent them in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. The district includes the City of Altoona, the townships of Allegheny and Logan and the borough of Tunnelhill. For the 2023-24 session, Lou serves on the House Appropriations, House Transportation and State Government committees.
Lou’s top priority is to create greater economic opportunities for residents and employers of the 79th Legislative District by supporting and advancing legislation that cuts through the red tape, encourages job creation and keeps companies from moving out of state.
Lou is working to advance tax reform proposals to ease the burden on hard-working families and older residents struggling to live on fixed incomes. He also recognizes that the Commonwealth’s growing public pension debt needs to be resolved through further reforms.
Pennsylvania’s drug epidemic is also one of Lou’s legislative focuses as he has seen how opioid abuse can destroy lives and tear apart communities. He joins other lawmakers in continuing to advance proposals to help curb the crisis and reduce the number of overdose deaths.
Lou is the grandson of Bavarian immigrants who settled in the tough, working-class Altoona neighborhood of Dutch Hill, where Lou was born and raised. His father and grandfather both worked for the Pennsylvania Railroad.
Standing 6 feet 9 inches tall, Lou was an outstanding basketball player at Altoona Area High School and Saint Francis University in Loretto, which he attended on an athletic scholarship. Lou also excelled academically in college. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1984 with a double major in history and political science. Upon graduation, he attended the University of New Hampshire School of Law in Concord and received his Juris Doctor degree in 1987.
Lou practiced law for several years in Concord and Pittsburgh before returning home to Blair County in 1993, joining what would become the firm of McIntyre, Hartye, Schmitt and Sosnowski in Hollidaysburg. He was recognized by Philadelphia Magazine and Law and Politics Magazine as a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer in the field of civil litigation defense. Lou remains licensed to practice law in the states of New Hampshire and Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia.
Lou is also involved in his community. He is a member of the Altoona Kiwanis, the Blair County Historical Society, The Bavarian Aid Society, The Unter Uns Musical and Entertainment Society and the Sons of the American Legion. He belongs to Saint Mary Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church.
In 2017, Lou was recognized with the Kiwanian of the Year Award for his work with Buddy Club, a youth program he runs for kids primarily from his old neighborhood, many of whom come from low-income families.
Lou is the oldest of nine children. He resides in Logan Township with his wife, Helen. They have two daughters, Heather Guirand and Lauren Schmitt; two grandsons, Ted and Sebastian Guirand; and three dogs. Lou is an avid reader, likes to travel, loves spending time with his family and enjoys listening to all kinds of music – especially The Beatles.