Sen. Beth Bye "Discouraged" By The Blocking Of Early Childhood Legislation

Jun 11, 2013

Senator Beth Bye may be leaving this legislative session more disheartened than any other lawmaker.

Despite being funded in the state budget, the Office of Early Childhood was never actually created.

One of the bills biggest supporters is Bye, who was honored earlier this month as a 'Child Champion' by the CT Early Childhood Alliance.

"This is probably the most discouraging situation I've run into since I've been in elected office," said Bye.

The bill's fate was tied up with an unrelated bill that would legalize Sunday bow hunting of deer.

"That was made very clear to us," said Bye. "The two things are totally unrelated and this is like using children as a bargaining chip."

Last week, House Minority Leader Larry Cafero denied the two bills were directly linked.

He told the Hartford Courant, "It was a combination of a whole bunch of things," he said. "In my opinion, the Democrats didn't keep their word and unfortunately the early childhood bill fell victim."

Cafero also told the CT Mirror that he wouldn't stop the early childhood bill. "To fingerpoint to my side is an absolute joke."

Bye doesn't think it was a deliberate attempt to block the Office of Early Childhood. "I think it was a deliberate attempt to get Sunday hunting called," she said.

She believes the Malloy administration is looking into options for its next steps. Some things can be done administratively but Bye says the bill will eventually have to pass.