Beth Bye, a West Hartford Democrat who represents the 5th State Senate District, will leave her leadership position as Senate chair of the Appropriations Committee when the legislature reconvenes in January.
By Ronni Newton
State Sen. Beth Bye announced Monday that she will step down from her high-level role as Senate Chair of the Appropriations Committee when the legislative session begins in January.
Bye said that her wife, Tracey Wilson, a recently-retired Conard High School social studies teacher, is battling cancer. Bye wants to be there to support her during treatments.
“Appropriations requires three to four times more time commitment than any other committee, and with Tracey’s illness I want to be there for her treatments,” Bye said. The chairman needs to be available to be at the capitol at any time, and Bye said she can’t commit to that right now.
“Family needs to be my priority,” she said.
On Monday Bye notified Senate President Pro Tem Martin Looney of her decision, and said she does not know who will be named as her successor. “It’s an important job,” she said, and there are many budget challenges to face in the upcoming session.
Bye, a resident of West Hartford who also represents Bloomfield, Burlington, and Farmington, was reelected in November to her fourth term in the State Senate. She said she has no plans to step down from that position and expects to be appointed to another committee that is less time-consuming. She is also a member of the Education, Judiciary, and Legislative Management committees.
Bye is also the executive director of the 4-H Education Center at Auerfarm, a job she also plans to continue.