Martinez faces second confirmation hearing

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David Martinez

PHOENIX - David Martinez III will likely be recommended as the next student regent today in the second attempt to hold a confirmation hearing for the position.

The first hearing was postponed after members of the Senate Higher Education Committee found out that Martinez, a secondary education senior, serves on a UA policy committee on transgender rights.

After several interviews with legislators, Martinez will now speak before the legislative committee. Its members can recommend him to the whole Senate, which then votes to confirm him.

Committee chair Sen. Tom O'Halleran, R-Sedona, and other Republican members wanted to talk to Martinez in detail about his involvement in the transgender committee, said Sen. Paula Aboud, D-Tucson.

""I think they were concerned that the committee was going to be difficult for other members to understand and that it would be difficult to support him,"" Aboud said. ""But that just didn't become a problem at all.""

To view the hearing live today at 1 p.m., go to www.azleg.gov/AlisToday.asp, select the day and click on the camera displayed next to the listing.

? To view the archived hearing after today, go to www.azleg.gov, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the link to the streaming video archive in the center of the page.

Committee members often reschedule the hearing so members can meet with the potential candidate, said Christine Thompson, a former student regent and now the assistant executive director for government affairs at the Arizona Board of Regents.

""Some of his involvement might raise some questions,"" she said. ""But it's not out of the ordinary for members to want to meet with candidates for any position to review their qualifications and background experiences.""

Members will likely ask Thompson about his interest in the position, his background and some of the issues he thinks he'll be facing, Thompson said.

""I don't foresee anything surprising coming out of the hearing,"" Thompson said. ""We're hopeful that he'll be confirmed.""

Gov. Janet Napolitano in March appointed Martinez to the position in which he will serve for two years - one as a nonvoting regent and one as a voting member of the Arizona Board of Regents.

""David is very innovation-oriented and expressed a desire to bring new, fresh ideas to Arizona's university system,"" Napolitano said in a press release. ""He is focused on moving forward the university system, making it more available to Arizona students, and in creating a learning environment that will graduate a workforce prepared for the global market.""

As a student regent, Martinez would be involved in issues including student tuition, admissions, university budgets, faculty salaries and university presidential searches.

The position rotates between students of the UA, Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University.


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