In 2018, Julie was first elected State Representative for House District 61 which includes five of the most beautiful counties in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains and along the Western Slope. In her first session, she was appointed to serve on the Rural Affairs & Agriculture, Education and Appropriations committees. Over the 2019-2020 fiscal year, she was selected to Chair both the School Finance Interim and Appropriations Committees.
Most notably, she was honored to receive an appointment to the prestigious six-person Joint Budget Committee in January 2020 and is serving as Chair of the Joint Budget Committee beginning in November 2021.
Her legislative accomplishments this session include passing:
- A statewide Reinsurance Program which brought down health insurance premiums on the individual marketplace more than 35% on the Western Slope;
- Numerous education bills including a renewal of the READ Act, modernizing the school finance formula to drive more funding to schools with at-risk students, establishing statewide concurrent enrollment access and the creation of a new higher education funding formula;
- Significant investments in wildfire mitigation, response and suppression along with funding for watershed restoration for those areas hardest hit by wildfires;
- A referred nicotine tax 2020 ballot measure that will provide new funding for rural schools, the state education fund and ultimately bring universal preschool to every 4-year-old in the state.
For more on her legislative accomplishments, click here.
Passionate about public education, Julie spent more than a dozen years working in Summit School District providing exceptional district leadership in strategic communications, community engagement and student behavioral/mental health initiatives. She spent several years away from schools while working at the state Capitol serving as the Director of Communications for former Lt. Gov. Joseph Garcia. McCluskie played a key role in Colorado’s implementation of Colorado Reads 2013: The Early Literacy Initiative, launching Colorado Literacy Week and the One Book 4 Colorado statewide program. Her skills as facilitator and liaison were key in the orchestration of statewide tours, numerous community conversations and public events at the state level. She believes the success of Colorado’s education initiatives relies on meaningful community partnerships built through consistent and strategic outreach.
Prior to public education, Julie worked in resort and hospitality management holding leadership roles in Xanterra Parks & Resorts in Denver and Doubletree Hotels in Colorado Springs and Vail.
Currently, McCluskie currently serves as a board member on The Summit Foundation helping to support working families in Summit County and neighboring communities. She served as a board member for Advocates for Victims of Assault in Summit County and served as an advisory board member for Building Hope Summit County, a community initiative to improve and increase access to mental health services; and as a key leader on Communities that Care, an effort to prevent youth substance use. She was a member of the Colorado Educator Preparation Innovation Coalition (COEduPIC) which addressed teacher shortages and improved preparation programs across the state.
Born and raised in Colorado, Julie and her husband Jamie have spent most of their married years in the Rocky Mountains. They are proud parents of two children, Ian and Cait, and enjoy spending family time in Colorado’s great outdoors.