The bill, which creates a partially-elected school board, needs the concurrence of the committee and the full House for final passage.
County Executive Kevin Kamenetz has expressed concerns about the bill and legislators say Del. Sheila Hixson, chairwoman of the committee and a Montgomery County Democrat, is using those concerns to hold the bill up.
"I don't know if the county executive is talking to Sheila and I don't know how much weight that carries," said Klausmeier. "Seems to me she should abide by Baltimore County."
Klausmeier said she plans to speak to Hixson about the bill Monday.
Klausmeier is in an interesting position because she is now in a position of having to defend a bill she personally opposes.
"I don't like the bill but if that's what the delegation wants then that's the majority and sometimes you have to do what you don't like doing," said the Perry Hall Democrat.
To recap, Hixson told Baltimore County legislators she was not going to vote on a compromise bill agreed to last week by the House and Senate delegations because Kamenetz opposes the measure.
Legislators said Hixson cited a long-standing policy in committee of holding local bills when the respected county executive opposes them.
Kamenetz sent a letter to Hixson opposing both a partially- and fully-elected school board on the basis citing taxing and racial diversity issues.
The letter (attached to this story) raises some questions because it is dated February 16—before Hixson's committee passed out a version of the bill calling for a fully-elected board. But the letter references the hiring of a new schools superintendent. That hiring though was publicly announced more than a month later.
Late Saturday, legislators in the House and Senate began taking other bills as hostages—delaying votes on local bills that Kamenetz would like to see passed. Sen. Bobby Zirkin and Del. Wade Kach both clearly tied their actions to the delay in the school board bill.
Kach threatened that there were other actions that could be taken today "and we'll do them all," the Cockeysville Republican said.
Zirkin accused Kamenetz of "going around the legislative process" and said the county executive should bring his concerns to the delegation Monday.
Klausmeier said she believes there is little chance Kamenetz will do that in the waning hours of the session.
"He just doesn't like the bill," Klausmeier said of Kamenetz. "I think he's said as much as hes going to say. It's all been said. He's just trying his last ditch efforts."