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Robb selected as vice chairman of budget committee

January 19, 2006
By: Jason Rosenbaum
State Capital Bureau

JEFFERSON CITY - Even though Rep. Ed Robb, R-Columbia, is home for the weekend, he still has some homework to do -- 400 to 500 pages worth.

"And we haven't even started the budget process," he said.

The Missouri House speaker picked Robb to be vice chairman of the House Budget Committee, taking over the position from Rep. Allen Icet, R-Wildwood. Icet became the chairman of the committee last month.

Robb, who is a former teacher and researcher at the University of Missouri-Columbia, said he is honored that he was chosen for the position by Missouri House Speaker Rod Jetton, R-Marble Hill. He said he's engaged in lengthy discussions with Icet on how to change the budget process.

"Both of us are very interested in starting to apply measures of efficiency, productivity and cost benefit anaylsis to the budget making process," Robb said.

He said such steps will make the process more quantative than it's been in the past.

"In some cases, certain budget items are passed because they're mandated by law or certain programs get funded because they imply that it makes people better off, in some sense," Robb said. "But in many instances, there is no actual data to support that."

Robb said his elevation to the post means there's a representative from Columbia in the decision making process.

"But you have to look at the state budget in the broadest context," he said.

Beyond their roles as chairmen of the committee, Robb and Icet will also sit in on House Appropriations Committee hearings, a move which Robb said will increase communication between the two enitites.