In the end, it was a somewhat anti-climactic, procedural motion in the state Senate that formally ended seven years of Democratic disunity in the chamber.

The Legislature was back in Albany for the first day of the post-budget legislative session and the first time after a unity deal was brokered by Governor Andrew Cuomo, leading the Independent Democratic Conference to dissolve and join the mainline fold.

"We're excited. Our conference has always wanted this reunification," said Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins. "It's more likely that we can get things done for New Yorkers if we are working together."

There was tangible evidence of that deal, with former IDC Leader Jeff Klein moved to a smaller office.

And there was grumbling from Republicans, who could lose the majority by the end of this month, pending the outcome of two special elections. Cuomo's push for Democrats, they argue, is based on the primary challenge he's received from Cynthia Nixon, an actress and advocate for public education.

"Obviously, it's political," said Sen. John DeFrancisco (R - Syracuse), himself a candidate for governor. "He thinks it's important to unite the Democrats. That's a position I can understand, especially when he's getting hit hard from the left, and the right and in between."

Cuomo has been under increased pressure from the left to help Democrats. His liberal critics have argued the IDC-Republican arrangement in the Senate has stifled needed legislation.

"I think that if you look at the governor's actions over the last few weeks, I think it's very showing and telling that he is trying to do all he can to get a Democratic Senate," said Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie.

Complicating matters is Senator Simcha Felder, a Democrat who conferences with the Republicans but could switch sides. Should Democrats win two vacant seats in an April 24 special election, Democrats would have a working majority. Stewart-Cousins says she's hopeful it can happen.

"I've had a great working relationship with him over the years, and I've made it no secret he would be a very good person for our conference," Stewart-Cousins said.

Democrats hope the end of the session could see criminal justice reforms, including cashless bail for New York.