Republican and DFLer hope to bring purple pride to Legislature

Sen. Jeremy Miller, R-Winona, and Sen. Roger Reinert, DFL-Duluth, have formed a "purple caucus" with the hope of putting the needs of the state above party politics.

Miller and Reinert appeared at a news conference at the State Capitol today to announce the group. They say the goal is to start showing that lawmakers can cooperate across party lines.

"What is the price of admission?" Reinert said. "It's the idea that you're willing to be a Minnesotan first and some other label second."

Reinert says the group plans to start meeting on a semi-regular basis to discuss where they agree. Miller says he hopes the focus will mainly be on the budget, jobs and the economy. But he said they aren't coming forward with a legislative agenda.

"I don't think anyone is making any promises," Miller said. "I learned you don't make promises in politics. We have a commitment to create good relationship building."

They say Sen. Branden Peterson, R-Andover, Sen. Carla Nelson, R-Rochester, and Sen. Melisa Franzen, DFL-Edina, have also joined the group. It will also be open to House members but none has joined yet.

A news release said some of the proposed guiding principles of the "Purple Caucus" include paying attention, inclusivity, showing respect and "do not gossip"

Both Miller and Reinert say they intend to attend regular meetings of their respective party caucuses as well.

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