Christine Stuart file photo
West Hartford Sen. Beth Bye was appointed co-chairwoman of the powerful Appropriations Committee on Wednesday by Sen. President Donald E. Williams Jr.

Bye will fill the vacancy left by Sen. Toni Harp, who will become the first female mayor of New Haven in January.

“Beth brings passion and an incredible work ethic to the position,” Williams said. “She’s also committed to a collaborative approach. Succeeding Toni Harp is no easy task but I know that Beth will do a terrific job.”

Bye, who currently co-chairs the Higher Education Committee, lobbied hard for the job.

“I am honored that Senator Williams has placed his trust in me to oversee this incredibly important position,” Bye said in a statement. “The state budget is really a statement of public policy priorities. Toni Harp leaves a great legacy as co-chair of Appropriations and I’m excited to meet this challenge and follow in her footsteps.”

Bye will co-chair the committee with state Rep. Toni Walker of New Haven. The committee is responsible for proposing and negotiating the spending side of the state budget.

Williams said he will announce other revisions to committee assignments at a later date.