UPDATE (8:05 p.m.)—A vote on a state bill that would allow County Executive Kevin Kamenetz to consolidate some school system functions into existing county operations was delayed in the Senate late Saturday.
"I have concerns about the bill," said Zirkin.
Concerns about the passage of the partially-elected school board?
Before Zirkin could answer, Sen. Jim Brochin interrupted and called Zirkin's procedural move "an insurance policy."
"There's a number of issues involving the school board and if the county executive wants to discuss them then he should come down here and discuss them with the delegation," said Zirkin. "If he wants to go around the legislative process, that's certainly his prerogative."
Kamenetz has expressed his opposition about the partially elected school board to Del. Sheila Hixson, a Montgomery County Democrat and chair of the House Ways and Means Committee. The House bill creating a board with six elected and five appointed members was amended by the Senate and needs approval of Hixson's committee and the full House by Monday at midnight in order to become law.
Meanwhile, Kamenetz would like to see his consolidation bill pass. Earlier this week, a county lobbyist, in a letter, accused a union official of bullying tactics in holding that bill up in committee.
Zirkin laid the blame for the delay of the school board bill squarely on Kamenetz, a fellow Democrat.
"He's (Kamenetz) unfortunately putting his own interests and power before that of the people of Baltimore County," said Zirkin. "It is what it is. This is who we elected."
UPDATE: In the House of Delegates Saturday night, Del. Wade Kach delayed a vote on another bill Kamenetz wants—a bill that would limit the amount of time a car can be parked in a designated handicapped space around the Old Courthouse in Towson.
Asked if the delay was tied to the school board bill, Kach replied: "Absolutely."
"There are other things we can do, too," said Kach, a Cockeysville Republican. "We'll do them all."
Kach called the school board bill "the most important item we have down here. Nothing else is even close."