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73rd District Assemblywoman Diane Harkey, Guest Dignitary Profile

73rd District Assemblywoman Diane Harkey

Diane graduated Cum Laude with a degree in Economics from the University of California, Irvine and brings a wealth of experience in business and budgeting to the State Capitol, having enjoyed a successful 30-year career in corporate finance and banking. Interacting in the real world with large and small businesses assisting with financial needs in good and poor economic climates allows Diane to bring a practical and pragmatic business perspective to the Legislature. Recognized for her financial expertise, she works to promote fiscally-responsible solutions to address California's cash flow problems. In this role, she works closely with Assembly budget staff, and continuously reaches out to the Governor's Department of Finance, State Controller and the State Treasurer to develop strategies that protect taxpayers and enhance the future of our GoldenState.

Recognized for her dedication to identify and eliminate wasteful spending, Diane was appointed to Vice Chair of the powerful Assembly Committee on Appropriations. In this capacity, Diane analyzes every fiscal bill making its way through both houses of the Legislature. Diane measures the cost to the taxpayer for each bill while forcefully advocating for restraint in spending and regulation. Diane is also a member of the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee, where she is a strong voice and advocate for taxpayer and business interests. She works to promote Southern California interests in Sacramento, where our voice is underrepresented due to geography as well as state funding preferences.

Diane also serves on the Assembly Committee on Public Employees, Retirement and Social Security (PERSS). As the former Vice Chair, Diane will continue to tackle the complex issues surrounding public employee and teacher's pensions as well as stresses in the Social Security system. She will address the issue of under funding, investment assumptions and other problems that have created unsustainable debt obligations on our state and future generations. Cooperation with the employees affected, as well as the taxpayers who are paying, is of the utmost importance to our state at this difficult time.

Harkey continues to receive high rankings for her pro-jobs approach from the California Chamber of Commerce on high-priority legislation related to economic growth and job creation. She quickly established a record of supporting pro-taxpayer legislation by voting for hard-working families and against the largest tax increase in the state's history in February 2009. Diane believes that the state cannot borrow its way to prosperity, but must reduce spending, balance the budget and plan for the future by setting aside reserves for emergencies. She understands that the Golden State must begin establishing policies that ensure future improvements in transportation, water and other basic necessities to enable California to retain its place as one of the top-ranking economies in the world.

Diane is married to her husband Dan and together they have one married, adult daughter, Jaclyn.