"They look to the chairman for direction and advice. I had to study up on some of these issues. You don't want to do the wrong thing."
Zirkin is especially proud "the committee came together" without any partisanship. "We worked these bills 'till everyone was comfortable" with the end product, he said.
For instance, the panel had trouble with a bill passed by the House allowing police to operate body cameras. A wide range of issues that could have made the bill unworkable hadn't been addressed.
"We spent four days amending the bill so that everyone was satisfied," said the chairman. The final version met approval from Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives. It passed the committee 11-0.
Zirkin was impressed the panel took on issues "that had not been touched in decades. I've never seen a committee tackle so many big bills."