Beth Bye

Position
State Senator
District
5th District: Bloomfield, Burlington, Farmington, West Hartford
Social media
Committees
Higher Education and Employment Advancement (co-chair); Education (vice chair); Human Services (vice chair); Judiciary; Legislative Management; Planning and Development
Previous Positions
West Hartford Board of Education, House of Representatives
Education
B.A., M.A., University of New Hampshire
Occupation
Executive director, 4-H Education Center at Auerfarm
Public Financing
Yes
Beth Bye, a Democrat, is an educator who formerly served on the West Hartford Board of Education. Before becoming executive director of a 4-H education center, she was director of early childhood education at the Capitol Regional Education Council and director of the St. Joseph College School for Young Children. She also has taught at Trinity and St. Joseph.

After Sen. Toni Harp was elected mayor of New Haven in 2013, Bye was selected to succeed her in one of the legislature's most demanding committee assignments: co-chair of the Appropriations Committee. She announced in late 2016 she would step down as Appropriations co-chair, while remaining a legislator, to deal with her wife's struggle with cancer.

Bye has been an ally of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy. As co-chair of the committee overseeing higher education, she helped win passage of Malloy's controversial merger of the community colleges and the Connecticut State University system into the Board of Regents system, but not before backing a change that denied the governor the right to name a president of the system.

She has voted for Malloy's $1.5 billion tax increase, a repeal of the death penalty, the decriminalization of possession of small amounts of marijuana, the legalization of the production and sale of marijuana for limited medical purposes, the post-Newtown gun control law and increasing the minimum wage.

As a House member, she voted against a bill mandating that certain private employers offer paid sick days. She supported the bill that became law in 2011 after the bill was narrowed to exempt manufacturers.

Bye, one of two openly gay members of the Senate, is married to Tracey Wilson, a recently retired high school teacher. They were the first to be married once same-sex marriage was legalized in Connecticut.

They live in West Hartford with their four children.
Election history
Bye won an open Senate seat in 2010, succeeding Democrat Jonathan Harris. She won an open House seat in 2006, succeeding 13-term Republican Robert Farr.
Most recent election
Beth Bye D 30655
Mark Merritt R 20088
Mark Merritt I 1040
Financial disclosure
In a Statement of Financial Interest filed in 2014, Bye reported outside income from the Bridge Family Center.
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