SHARECOMMENTMORE

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Two state senatorsteam up to createa "Purple Caucus" as a way to bring change the political climate in the state and bring politicians from both parties together.

State Sen. Jeremy Miller, a Republican from Winona, says he gets the same complaint over and over when he returns to his district.

"Why can't you guys get along? Why can't you work together?" constituents said.

Miller says it's time to do something about it. He has teamed up with Sen. Roger Reinert, a Democrat from Duluth.

"We're here this morning to announce the launch of the Purple Caucus," Reinert told a handful of print reporters and two television cameras on a snowy Monday morning at the Capitol.

"Where does this idea of purple come from? Where does the name come from? It has nothing to do with trying to figure out how to fund the Vikings Stadium," Reinert joked.

The press release reads, "Blue+Red=Purple."

"This caucus is about sitting down, developing some bi-partisan relationships, something that I have found frustrating. It's very difficult to do up here," Miller said, before noting he hopes caucus members will talk about the budget and job creation.

The pair couldn't be much different. Reinert's a single professor and a Democrat from Duluth. Miller's a married father as well as a Republican small business owner from Winona. But the two say they've already enlisted about 10 percent of the Senate for the bi-partisan group. They also hope to have several members of the house join them in the near future.

KARE 11 asked the Senate's leaders about the power of purple.

"I don't have any real thoughts one way or the other, members join caucuses," Republican Senate Minority Leader David Hann said plainly.

"I suspect there will be greater degrees of interest in some things and lesser degrees of working together on others," Democratic Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk said.

Reinert and Miller say this will be a start, and it's a culture change at the Capitol.

"The general public has come to think that we can't talk to each other," Reinert concluded.

SHARECOMMENTMORE