The first session of a new Legislature involves a lot of waymaking. New members are trying to find their way, veterans are trying to show the way, leaders are making sure they get their way and special interests are trying to have their way with the lot.
It tends to sort itself out and set the stage for the term.
The session just ending saw a continuation of the same political coalitions that have been in place the last couple of terms. Partisanship is increasing and the old factors of race and regionalism are still at play.
But the manner in which the chambers operate is somewhat different. There are some good signs and some not-so-good ones for taxpayers.