Diane Cummins is the former Special Advisor to the Governor on State and Local Realignment. She officially retired in late 2008 after a distinguished 31-year career in California government, but was brought back to advise the Governor in an area of her particular expertise.
Ms. Cummins was appointed Chief Fiscal Policy Advisor to the President pro tem of the State Senate in January, 1999. In that capacity, Ms. Cummins served as the primary staff for the Senate on fiscal matters related to the State Budget, major initiatives and legislation. She was the primary staff person representing the pro tem in budget negotiations with the Governor’s Office and the Assembly. Ms.
Cummins also advised the President pro tem on issues related to revenue and taxation policy and issues in the Human Services program area. Prior to her appointment in the Senate, Ms. Cummins served as the Chief Deputy Director, Budgets in the Department of Finance where she acted as a key advisor to the Governor and was the Governor’s primary contact with the Legislature in budget matters.
Before serving in that capacity, Ms. Cummins served as the Deputy Director for legislation, the Program Budget manager for Health and Human Services, and a variety of other positions in the Department of Finance. During her 21- year tenure in the Department of Finance, Ms. Cummins was a key staff person on several major policy initiatives, including 1991 Realignment, the 1997 state assumption of trial court funding, the 1997 state welfare reform effort which resulted in the state CalWORKs program and Foster Care Reform.
Ms. Cummins is widely respected for her knowledge of the State Budget as well as her expertise in state-local funding issues and court financing. She is a frequent guest lecturer on various and policy issues.
Ms. Cummins was a 2008 recipient of the California State Association of Counties Distinguished Service Award and the 2006 Western Center on Law and Poverty Advocacy Award.