New York State

Assembly Member Latoya Joyner announces resignation days into session

The Bronx Democrat is leaving government for a private sector job.

Assembly Member Latoya Joyner is stepping down for another job.

Assembly Member Latoya Joyner is stepping down for another job. Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

In a surprise announcement, Assembly Member Latoya Joyner of the Bronx said that she would resign after just one scheduled day of the 2024 state legislative session. A source familiar with the situation said Joyner was “offered another job and it’s not a governmental job.”

In an announcement posted to social media, Joyner said she is stepping down from her elected position effective midnight Jan. 8. “After careful consideration and with much difficulty, I have decided to bring this chapter of my life to a close,” Joyner wrote. She said that she had confidence that her “next endeavor will offer valuable personal and professional growth,” but did not offer any details on what that endeavor may be.

Joyner was first elected to the Assembly in 2014. She now chairs the influential Labor Committee in her chamber, which will need a new leader once she leaves. Her counterpart in the upper chamber, state Sen. Jessica Ramos, praised Joyner for the work they did together as labor chairs. “I’m grateful to have had @JoinJoyner as my partner in the Assembly on so many critical wins for working families,” Ramos wrote on X. “Together we raised the minimum wage, passed salary transparency, strengthened worker safety and wage standards, and more. She will be missed.”

The past two Labor Committee chairs have hailed from the Bronx, and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie once chaired the committee himself. Before Joyner, close Heastie ally Marcos Crespo chaired the committee. Crespo announced he was stepping down in 2020 for a lucrative job at Montefiore Medical Center. There are a handful of other Bronx members on the committee, but some have floated Assembly Member Karines Reyes as a possibility to succeed Joyner. She is one of the more senior members from the Bronx in the committee who doesn’t already chair her own full committee. She was previously considered a top contender for the Health Committee, which is also powerful. Upstate Assembly Member Harry Bronson, who is among the most senior members of the committee overall, has also been floated as a possibility due to his good working relationships with unions upstate.

Joyner’s resignation will also trigger a special election ahead of the regularly scheduled June state legislative primaries. Based on the timing of the resignation, that special election will most likely be held in early March. Joyner’s absence and the timing of the special election also mean that her district won’t have representation during the pivotal months that budget negotiations take place.

Joyer’s decision to leave also temporarily narrows Democrats’ supermajority in the Assembly to 101 members out of 150 seats. The chamber will also be voting on redistricting maps this year, and if leaders wanted to reject maps drawn by the Independent Redistricting Commission and pass their own lines, they would need a two-thirds majority to do so.