Ex-congressman to address Chamber luncheon in Juneau

Federal spending in Alaska is in decline, with federal transportation dollars alone spent in state expected to shrink by 30 percent in the coming year. Former Minnesota congressman David Minge will discuss the effects of less federal spending when the Alaska State Chamber of Commerce and the Juneau Chamber of Commerce host the Alaska Roundtable Luncheon Thursday.

Minge represents the Coalition for a Fiscally Sound America, which its website says educates Americans about the state of the nation’s current fiscal dilemma in an effort to motivate constituents to contact their elected officials and demand “spending and tax reform sufficient to stabilize our national debt, revive our economy and return prosperity to America.”

The Alaska State Chamber of Commerce believes that one key way to mitigate the impacts of reduced federal largess in Alaska is through oil tax reform.

“The United States continues to face a lagging economy and out of control debt,” Rachael Petro, president and CEO of the statewide Chamber stated in a press release. “Reduced federal spending must be part of the plan to get America back on track and that will have a significant impact on Alaska,” Petro said.

Minge, a former Fulbright lecturer, practiced law in Montevideo, Minn. until he was elected as a Democrat to the House of Representatives in 1992. He was elected to the three succeeding Congresses. Minge is currently a judge on the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

As a congressman, Minge served on the Agriculture, Budget, Joint Economic and Science committees. According to the St. Olaf College website, Minge is a “scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C., a fellow in the W.W. Kellogg Foundation Food and Society Policy Program and a lecturer at the University of Minnesota, Morris.”

The Alaska Roundtable Luncheon is planned for noon Thursday at the Westmark Baranof Hotel, 127 N. Franklin St. Doors open at 11:30 a.m. and tickets are $35.

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