On Wednesday, the State Senate convened under new rules that are intended to allow it to be run, for the first time in history, by a coalition of Republicans and Democrats.

The Senate Majority Coalition consists of 36 legislators — 30 Republicans, one Democrat who conferences with them, and five members of the Independent Democratic Conference — who elected two men to serve as Temporary President.  State Senators Dean Skelos (R- Rockville Centre) and Jeff Klein (D-Bronx) will hold that position on alternating days throughout the year.

Read the Albany Times Union’s profile of State Senator Jeff Klein (D-Bronx), head of the Independent Democratic Caucus (IDC) and co-Leader of the Senate Majority Coalition.

In another historic first, Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Yonkers) was elected Minority Leader.  She is the first woman to lead a legislative conference in Albany.