First Day of Session
On Wednesday, January 3rd, the Legislature convened for the first day of the 2024 Legislative Session, which included several receptions in the Capitol and opening day speeches from leadership in their respective Houses. Although no legislation was acted on during the day, both Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins laid out their priorities for the upcoming six-months. Both leaders focused heavily on issues regarding affordability and housing. In her speech, Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins said “our conference has always looked to ease daily burdens and strengthen our fundamental support systems. However, despite these accomplishments, we must acknowledge that many New Yorkers are still struggling, and they feel the pinch in their wallets. The most significant cost burden facing our constituents today is housing. The soaring cost of living in New York threatens the very essence of our state’s identity. It’s time for us to develop a comprehensive plan that not only protects tenants including the principles of good cause, but also paves the way for the construction of new, affordable housing.”
Both leaders also highlighted other priorities such as fighting climate change, increasing funding for schools and improving New York’s education system, improving healthcare in the state, and protecting the reproductive rights of women.
Assembly Labor Chair Latoyer Joyner Resigns
On Thursday, January 4th, one day after the 2024 Legislative Session began, Assemblymember Latoya Joyner, who has served in the Assembly since 2015 and chairs the Assembly Labor Committee, unexpectedly announced her resignation, effective January 8th. “It has been my great honor to serve as the Assembly Member representing the 77th Assembly District for almost a decade. Serving in this capacity has been an immense privilege. The victories we achieved together – for Bronx families, our communities, and New Yorkers across the state – will forever be among my proudest accomplishments. I’m eternally grateful to my constituents, legislative team, union leaders, community partners, and fellow public servants who stood alongside me throughout this remarkable journey. After careful consideration and with much difficulty, I have decided to bring this chapter of my life to a close. Effective Monday, January 8th at midnight, I am resigning from office. While I am leaving public service, I am pursuing an exciting new opportunity that will allow me to continue serving our community and state in fresh ways.”
After Assemblymember Joyner’s resignation, the State Assembly announced Assemblyman Harry Bronson as the new Labor Committee Chair. This was followed by a small shuffle of Committee Chairs in the Assembly. The new appointments include:
- Assemblyman Al Stirpe will now chair the Economic Development, Job Creation, Commerce & Industry Committee;
- Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner will take over as Chair of the Small Business Committee; and
- Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara will chair the Libraries & Education Technology Committee.