State Sen. Beth Bye

State Senator Beth Bye was first elected to the Connecticut State Senate in 2010. She represents the 5th State Senate District that includes Bloomfield, Burlington, Farmington and West Hartford.

In 2001, Sen. Bye was named one of Connecticut Magazine’s “30 Young People of Influence,” and in 2015 she was voted “Best Politician” in the Hartford Magazine readers’ poll.

Sen. Bye serves as Senate Co-Chair of the Higher Education & Employment Advancement Committee, is Senate Vice-Chair of the Education and Human Services committees, and is also a member of the Judiciary, Legislative Management and Planning & Development committees. Her diverse interests include education, economic development, services for people with disabilities, mental health care and the environment.

Recently, Sen. Bye has been a moving force in bringing high-speed broadband Internet access to Connecticut. She understands the importance of building the state’s economy on its strengths of technology and innovation. Connecticut has top-notch universities, insurance companies, high tech start-ups and bioscience research, including The Jackson Laboratory in Farmington; all these entities rely on this essential communications tool.

In 2013, Sen. Bye led the effort to create The Office of Early Childhood (OEC), one of the first such offices in the country. As an early childhood professional, she saw Connecticut needed a centralized system of early childhood education services for families and young children. She has worked in the field since 1980 and has seen first-hand the power of preschool.

A 2012 bill sponsored by Sen. Bye requires public colleges to build remedial education into credit-bearing courses, thereby accelerating progress toward graduation, entering the job market and reducing student debt; this law made Connecticut a national leader in remedial education reform.

In 2009, Sen. Bye led the passage of a bill banning BPA in children’s products, such as baby formula and baby food jars. Connecticut was the first in the nation, despite heavy lobbying from the chemical industry, to ban the toxic chemical. The Connecticut law resulted in the industry removing BPA from all such products throughout the U.S.A.

Sen. Bye often rides her bike to the Capitol. Throughout her career, she has been a biking advocate and helped pass several bills for improved bike safety and transportation planning.

Sen. Bye received her BA and MA in Child Development from the University of New Hampshire, and she has a deep interest in early childhood education. She was the early childhood director at Capitol Region Education Council and is the former director of Trinity College’s Community Child Care and the School for Young Children at Saint Joseph College.

Prior to the state Senate, Sen. Bye served as Vice-Chair of the West Hartford Board of Education for five years and represented West Hartford’s 19th State House district for two years. She has coached various youth sports and is an active member of the West Hartford Unitarian Universalist Church.

Beth lives in West Hartford with her wife, Tracy Wilson. In 2008, they were the first gay couple to be married in Connecticut. They have five children. Beth grew up in Greenwich and has five sisters, one brother and 24 nieces and nephews. She and her family enjoy tennis, skiing, the beach and entertaining friends and family.