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. Prior to public service, she enjoyed a successful 30-year career in corporate finance and banking. Interacting in the real world with individuals as well as large and small businesses, in good and poor economic climates, allows Diane to bring a practical and pragmatic business perspective to the Board of Equalization.
Recognized for her financial expertise, Diane works with both sides of the aisle to promote fiscally-responsible solutions to address California’s high unemployment, cash flow, pension and budgeting problems. Working to reduce the impacts of onerous and excessive taxation and regulatory policies, that make California uncompetitive in the national and world job markets, will be her focus on the Board.
Presently serving as Vice-Chair for Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee, she is a strong voice and advocate for taxpayer and business interests. As Vice Chair of the Assembly Committee on Appropriations for the past 3 years, Diane analyzed every spending bill making its way through the Legislature, while forcefully advocating for restraint in spending and regulation to stimulate job growth.
Diane also serves on the Assembly Budget, Banking and Finance Committee, as well as Public Employees, Retirement and Social Security (PERSS). She has worked to find solutions to improve our state’s underfunded pension system, and ensure our banking system remains viable and competitive for consumers and businesses.
Serving as a member of the Assembly Select Committee on Biotechnology, she is working across the aisle to implement policies meshing academic achievement in our universities and community colleges with real-world opportunities for Californians in the biotech sector.
Harkey continues to receive endorsements and high rankings for her pro-jobs approach from the California Chamber of Commerce, Public Safety, Taxpayer groups and others on high-priority legislation related to economic growth and job creation. Diane believes that the state cannot borrow nor cut its way to prosperity, but must increase employment, reduce waste, balance the budget and focus our spending to 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.