Last Wednesday would normally have been one of the biggest days of the year in Albany, as it was scheduled to be the day of the Governor’s annual State of the State address at Empire State Plaza.  But due to the death of Gov. Cuomo’s father, former three-term Governor Mario Cuomo, the State of the State address has been postponed until January 21st.

Members of the state Senate and Assembly returned to Albany last and began the 2015 legislative session.  (Meet the 27 newly-elected state lawmakers here.)

The Assembly, where Democrats hold a 106-44 majority, re-elected Sheldon Silver as Speaker.

In the Senate, the Republicans returned with a true majority – 32 members of the 63-member body – their first since 2012.  The Senate GOP adopted Senate Rules that reflects the existence of the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC), a five-member caucus of breakaway Democrats. Critically, the IDC will no longer have a formal say on what bills can come to the Senate floor for a vote.