Missouri Baptist lands Budget Committee chair
By Barbara Shoun
December 13, 2005
JEFFERSON CITY – The new chairman of the Missouri General Assembly’s House Budget Committee said people should not look to state government to solve all of their needs.
“Whenever there is a crisis, you shouldn’t turn to the state first to solve your problems. Family, church, and state should all be involved,” said Rep. Allen Icet, R-Wildwood. His appointment was announced Dec. 1 by House Speaker Rod Jetton, R-Marble Hill.
Icet and his wife, Carol, who have four children, are members of Ballwin Baptist Church, Ballwin.
“People look to the state instead of looking to God,” Icet said. “In my opinion, that’s the wrong place to put your faith. That’s the worldview I have.”
Icet assumes the chairmanship of the important committee at a time when legislators are striving to get the state’s finances back on stable ground.
He explained that the amount of taxes collected by the state in the late 1990s grew at a tremendous rate. Meanwhile, spending from 1992-2000 increased to twice the rate of the federal government and three times the rate of inflation.
“Times were good,” he said. “Money was coming in. They didn’t realize there would be an end to the good times.”
Then, in early 2000, the amount of tax revenues declined. There was a decline the following year as well. In the meantime, expenses continued to rise.
“We’re trying to restore fiscal responsibility,” Icet said. “It’s like trying to slow down a runaway train. There’s no reason we, as a state, shouldn’t live within our means. We don’t prioritize the way a family does.”
Icet would like to take the tools used in business and apply them to state government. He holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and a master’s in business administration. With a professional background in engineering-related corporate settings, he is experienced in working with budgets, purchasing, performance management and other related matters.
“He understands business and numbers,” Jetton said in making the announcement.
“I am going to do the best job that I can in this position,” Icet said. “My colleagues are placing trust in my doing this. The last thing I want to do is let them down.”
Icet was not always a political person.
“In the early 1990s, some friends from church invited us to their house to meet our state representative, Bill Linton,” he said. “This was the first time I ever met an elected official. It made me realize that I do need to be involved, to pay attention.”
As a result, he ran for the Rockwood Board of Education and won. He served as president at a time when the school was having financial problems.
“We were able to turn the situation around,” he said.
When Linton was unable to run again because of term limits, a mutual friend asked Icet if he would be interested in running for the seat. With Linton’s blessing, he entered the race. He was elected to the State House in November 2002.
“We have some good Baptists in this building (the Capitol),” he said.
He feels strongly that Christians should be involved in the political process, particularly by finding out where candidates stand on the issues.
“We’re supposed to be salt and light, but some Baptists don’t even vote,” he said. “I wish people would find a good candidate, pick up the phone and offer to help.”