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Candidate Q&A: Incumbent Beth Bye Running for the 5th Senatorial

“The Roundup has once again sent questionnaires to every candidate running for public office in Bristol, Burlington, Plymouth, Terryville, and Harwinton for this year’s election. In an effort to properly inform voters, their answers are unedited. The goal is to give the candidates the opportunity to offer their thoughts on issues directly to their constitutes. In return, it gives voters the opportunity to formulate their own decisions on what their candidates’ have to say.”

State Senator Beth Bye (D)

Next up is Democrat Incumbent Elizabeth “Beth” Bye.

Bye is a member of the Connecticut Senate representing the 5th district, which includes part of Bloomfield, most of Farmington, all of Burlington and all of West Hartford. Bye previously served in the Connecticut House of Representatives, representing the 19th District from 2007 to 2011. From 2000-2006 she served as Vice Chair on the West Hartford Board of Education.

Bye’s professional experience includes working as Director of Early Childhood Education for the Capital Region Education Council, Director of the Saint Joseph College School for Young Children, Director of Trinity College Child Care Center and Adjunct Professor of Education and Child Development at Trinity College/Saint Joseph College.

She is a member of the Discovery Committee, Hartford Area Child Care Collaborative Steering Committee, School Readiness Council and the Universalist Church Capitol Campaign Committee.

Bye is competing against Republican candidate Phillip Chabot.

What are your most pressing issues?

For CT, with the 16th best economy in the US (Business Insider, Oct. 2018), the biggest threat is a ready workforce. We traditionally are in the top 5 states for educated workforce, but we have 13,000 open jobs with manufacturers and small businesses that they cannot fill. We need to make higher education accessible for all, and also have more apprenticeship opportunities. We also need more applid high school courses where students can learn coding, mechanics, welding, woodworking… These are the kinds of jobs that we need to fill now.

Paid Family Medical Leave has been a priority for me for the past 3 years. Residents deserve to have their jobs protected, and incomes available while caring for a sick family member, or while sick themselves. The CT model is an employee funded model that does not cost employers. But it does offer job protection and critical income during tough times.

Health care costs are, once again, now rising at double digit rates. We must address this in CT, like they did in Massachusetts.

How do your thoughts and ideas differ from your opponents?

I have only met my opponent once. But one big difference is that I have done the hard work of understanding the state budget and working to make critical investments, while finding efficiencies for several years.

In my time as Chair of the Budget Committee, the state budget had its slowest growth in decades. I understand what it takes to be fiscally responsible, while also making critical expenditures that support community members in need, assure public safety, and prioritizing state support for high quality education for CT residents.

Quick Note: All candidate submissions have a deadline of October 18. Publication of a candidate is first come first serve. No political bias or preference will be conducted. If a candidate does not want to participate, that is fine, it will not be commented on. Candidates can reach out to the Roundup via our contact page.

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