Since the start of the 83rd Legislature, the dozens of freshmen in the Texas House have worn something purple every Thursday as a symbol of their willingness to work across party lines.

Now that the bill-filing deadline has passed, the man credited with coming up with the idea, Rep. Ron Simmons, R-Carrollton, outlines what issues he sees the potential to compromise on. 

Across the aisle, his fellow freshman Rep. Mary Ann Perez, D-Houston, said she hopes there are no non-negotiable items this session. Perez said this new batch of freshman lawmakers has strength in numbers, accounting for nearly a third of the body.

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The freshmen aren't the only ones working to seek common ground. Some of their more seasoned colleagues, from Rep. Mark Strama, D-Austin, to Lyle Larson, R-San Antonio, are joining in the color-coded effort.


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