The New York State Senate is one of two houses in the New York State Legislature and has members each elected to two-year terms. The state Constitution provides that the default membership be fifty members. However, it also provides that if any county would by virtue of its population be entitled to more than three Senators, then the first three Senators would count towards the limit of fifty, while the remainder would be in addition to the fifty.
Currently, there are twelve additional Senators (who are, in terms of legislative power, equal to any other Senators), making the total membership 62. The Senate is headed by its President, a post held ex officio by the State Lieutenant Governor. The Senate President has only a casting vote. More often, the Senate is presided over by the Temporary President, who is also the Majority Leader. The current Majority Leader is Dean Skelos, who is also concurrently serving as Acting State Lieutenant Governor since David Paterson was elevated to Governor of New York State upon the resignation of the now former governor Eliot Spitzer.
The Senate has had a Republican majority since 1965. Should the parties be equal in membership, the Senate will remain in Republican control, as ties in the Senate are broken by the Lieutenant Governor. The current acting Lieutenant Governor is Dean Skelos, a Republican. Despite being both Majority Leader and Lt. Governor he gets only one vote in the State Senate.