Purple Caucus announces 2016 legislative priorities

Calls for a transparent and productive end to session 

ST. PAUL, Minn – A comprehensive transportation funding package, tax relief, and a bonding bill focusing on infrastructure and state assets are among the Purple Caucus’ top priorities this year. Caucus Co-chairs Sen. Roger Reinert (DFL-Duluth) and Sen. Jeremy Miller (R-Winona) announced the group’s objectives today to lay a framework for the final weeks of the 2016 legislative session.

The Purple Caucus believes Minnesotans expect the 2016 Legislature to a pass a long-term transportation plan, tax relief, and a bonding bill. Additionally, the caucus is calling on legislative leaders to be transparent and inclusive. Specifically, caucus members are asking for all conference committee reports to be posted for a minimum of one week to allow member of the Legislature and the public to have the opportunity to read and digest the information.

“There is a lot at stake for Minnesotans this legislative session. The state received over $3.5 billion worth of bonding infrastructure requests – that’s a lot of need.  We need a responsible bill that addresses state infrastructure and preserves state-owned assets. Our transportation needs also deserve a separate long-term investment for the future, and the legislature should agree on a tax bill package. These are principles the Purple Caucus agrees on and is committed to furthering this session,” said Sen. Reinert.

“There has been some chatter about which party would get hurt more if this turns out to be a ‘do nothing’ session, but members of the Purple Caucus believe that Minnesotans deserve better. Instead of pointing fingers, we are focusing on getting results for the people of Minnesota. The Purple Caucus isn’t about sacrificing core principles, it’s about working together toward common goals in a reasonable manner. We are committed to making this a ‘get it done’ session and doing it in an open and transparent manner so legislators have adequate time to read the bills and the public has the opportunity to be informed,” said Sen. Miller.

The Purple Caucus was formed in 2013, and currently includes nearly 1/3 of the Minnesota Senate.  Its motto is: “Minnesotans first, other labels second.”

The Purple Caucus adheres to the following principles, as developed by the Speak Your Peace Civility Project. Pay attention; be inclusive; not gossipy; show respect; be agreeable; apologize; give constructive criticism; and take responsibility.

Senator Roger Reinert
Roger Reinert represents District 7, which includes St. Louis County. He is also an educator.

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