After weeks of battering criticism about his tax and budget plan, Gov. Mark Dayton on Monday acknowledged the unhappiness but said he is standing up for "basic values" of the state.
"It's not ever easy. It is not supposed to be easy," Dayton said before a small group of veteran DFLers. "That's the process...There is supposed to be this clash of ideas."
The governor's proposal would raise taxes through newly charging sales tax for many consumer items and, prompting high-level outcry, charging sales tax for the services business do for each other. At the Capitol, both Democrats and Republicans have picked at details of the proposal.
It is not clear, it seems even to the governor, what the DFL-controlled Legislature will end up doing with the governor's tax plan.
"You try to assess what's possible and what's not," Dayton said.
But, he said, raising taxes will allow spending on education and state services that the state desperately needs.
"I feel like (sometimes) I need to be Paul Revere, going through raising the warning alarm," Dayton said.
Asked directly by an audience member how his sales tax proposal would fare in the Legislature, Dayton said that "no one wants to pay more taxes" but his budget would create fairness. He said that fairness, however, is not always persuasive in politics.
"It's the best package I could come up with," Dayton asked, naming his proposal Plan A and status quo as Plan B. "What's Plan C?"
"I want to hear what the other possibilities are," he said later.