ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — In New York state government news, Democrats are heralding a new day in Albany now that a splinter group of lawmakers has returned to the Democratic fold in the state Senate.

While Republicans retain their razor-thin majority, the Democrats are hoping to take control after the November elections or maybe even sooner, following two special elections this month in Westchester County and the Bronx.

Most of the attention is focused on the Westchester race, where Democrat Shelley Mayer faces Republican Julie Killian in what's expected to be a close election.

Meanwhile, members of the Senate and Assembly are taking a break from Albany after passing a new $168.3 billion budget before the new state fiscal year began April 1. The Legislature is scheduled to reconvene April 16.