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DFL, GOP senators form bipartisan discussion group

Posted by: Jim Ragsdale under Minnesota legislature, Democrats, Republicans Updated: March 4, 2013 - 11:15 AM

Two senators of opposing parties have hopes for meeting in the middle of the red-vs-blue divide.

Sens. Jeremy Miller, R-Winona, and Roger Reinert, DFL-Duluth, announced plans for a "purple caucus" where legislators of both parties could discuss mutual goals and possible compromises.

They said they plan a meeting within the next two weeks go get a bipartisan group together. They plan to invite other legislators from both houses, and said a few other senators have said they will join them.

"The general public has come to think we can't talk to each other," said Reinert. Miller added that his constituents are upset with "gridlock in Washington D.C." and "extreme partisanship"  among political leaders.

The two senators said they will initially focus on the state budget to see if there are areas of compromise. They said it is important for legislators to get to know each other personally and see if they have common goals.

"I could envision us coming up with some shared tenets," Reinert said.

In a statement, the two senators listed guiding principles for the Purple Caucus, which they said come from the "Speak Your Peace" civility project. The tenets commit members to: pay attention, listen, be inclusive, do not gossip, show respect, be agreeable, apologize, give constructive criticism and take responsibility.



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