It wasn't specifics that reporters learned today in a wide-ranging chat with the leader of the state Senate, but rather a map for the budget debate that lies ahead -- regardless of what happens in the May 19 special election.
Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg's main message was this: if the budget-related ballot measures pass, the remaining deficit is likely manageable. If they don't, it won't be pretty.
"Is it a scare tactic?," said the Democratic leader. "No, it's reality. The numbers are the numbers."