The 103rd New York State Legislature, consisting of the New York State Senate and the New York State Assembly, met from January 6 to May 27, 1880, during the first year of Alonzo B. Cornell's governorship, in Albany.
Under the provisions of the New York Constitution of 1846, 32 Senators and 128 assemblymen were elected in single-seat districts; senators for a two-year term, assemblymen for a one-year term. The senatorial districts were made up of entire counties, except New York County (seven districts) and Kings County (three districts). The Assembly districts were made up of entire towns, or city wards, forming a contiguous area, all within the same county.
On April 23, 1879, the Legislature re-apportioned the Senate districts; and the Assembly seats per county. Columbia, Delaware, Madison, Oneida, Ontario and Oswego counties lost one seat each; Kings and New York counties gained three seats each.
At this time there were two major political parties: the Republican Party and the Democratic Party. Tammany Hall Boss John Kelly engaged in a fierce struggle against the Democratic majority led by Samuel J. Tilden and Lucius Robinson, and ran as a "spoiler candidate" to defeat Gov. Robinson who ran for re-election.
The Prohibition Party, the Greenback Party, the Socialist Labor Party of America, the "Working Men" and the "Jeffersonian Democrats" also nominated tickets.
The New York state election, 1879 was held on November 4. Republicans Alonzo B. Cornell and George G. Hoskins were elected Governor and Lieutenant Governor. Of the other five statewide elective office up for election, four were carried by the Republicans, and one by a Democrat. The approximate party strength at this election, as expressed by the vote for Governor, was: Republican 419,000; Democratic 376,000; Tammany Hall 78,000; Greenback 20,000; and Prohibition 4,500.
The Legislature met for the regular session at the State Capitol in Albany on January 6, 1880; and adjourned on May 27.
George H. Sharpe (R) was elected Speaker with 90 votes against 33 for John Shanley (D).
William H. Robertson was re-elected President pro tempore of the State Senate.
On April 6, the Legislature re-elected Superintendent of Public Instruction Neil Gilmour to a third term of three years.
Note: There are now 62 counties in the State of New York. The counties which are not mentioned in this list had not yet been established, or sufficiently organized, the area being included in one or more of the abovementioned counties.
The asterisk (*) denotes members of the previous Legislature who continued in office as members of this Legislature. Jacob Seebacher, Ferdinand Eidman, Robert H. Strahan and Waters W. Braman changed from the Assembly to the Senate.Clerk: John W. Vrooman
Sergeant-at-Arms: John W. Corning
Doorkeeper: James G. Caw
Stenographer: Hudson C. Tanner
The asterisk (*) denotes members of the previous Legislature who continued as members of this Legislature.
Party affiliations follow the vote for Speaker.Clerk: Edward M. Johnson
Sergeant-at-Arms: Sidney M. Robinson
Doorkeeper: Henry Wheeler
First Assistant Doorkeeper: Michael Maher
Second Assistant Doorkeeper: John W. Wheeler
Stenographer: Worden E. Payne