Speaker McCluskie has served as a State Representative since 2018 and was re-elected in 2022 to represent House District 13, which includes Chaffee, Grand, Jackson, Lake, Park, and Summit counties. She is the first woman Speaker elected from the Western Slope.
Over her four years as a State Representative, McCluskie has served on the committee of Rural Affairs & Agriculture, Education, Appropriations, Wildfire Matters, Early Childhood and School Readiness Commission, and as Chair of the Legislative Interim Committee on School Finance. Most notably, she was honored to receive an appointment to the prestigious six-person Joint Budget Committee in January 2020 and was appointed Chair of the JBC in November 2021.
Speaker McCluskie is a strong advocate for saving people money and protecting our mountain way of life. In 2019, McCluskie sponsored a statewide Reinsurance Program that brought down health insurance premiums by 36% on the individual marketplace for communities on the Western Slope. In 2021, she brought $48 million to affordable housing grants, nearly $200 million more to public schools, colleges, and universities, and over $100 million to wildfire mitigation and suppression. Speaker McCluskie also led the legislative efforts on student success and workforce revitalization, which invested more than $90 million in regional talent collaboration between businesses, labor, and higher education organizations.
Over Speaker McCluskie’s time as Chair of the JBC, she carried the state’s budget – which made record investments in public schools, higher education, and health care. In 2022, Speaker McCluskie sponsored extending the state income tax credit for health care preceptors working in health care professional shortage areas through the tax year 2032. Speaker McCluskie also helped create the Colorado wildlife safe passages fund and invested $5 million into the fund.
Speaker McCluskie is also a champion for education. She has sponsored numerous education bills, including the annual school finance act, a renewal of the early literacy READ Act, establishing statewide concurrent enrollment access, and creating a new higher education funding formula. In 2022, Speaker McCluskie helped increase accessibility to schooling by changing the rules around who receives in-state tuition – making it easier for Colorado high school residents and undocumented youth to attend college. Additionally, she carried the Proposition EE ballot measure, which provides new funding for rural schools and the state education fund, and ultimately funds universal preschool for 4-year-olds statewide.
Prior to serving in the State House, Speaker McCluskie 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. During the Hickenlooper administration, she spent several years at the state Capitol as the Director of Communications for former Lt. Gov. Joseph Garcia. Speaker McCluskie also worked in resort and hospitality management, holding leadership roles in Xanterra Parks & Resorts in Denver and Doubletree Hotels in Colorado Springs and Vail.
Born and raised in Colorado and a graduate of Colorado State University, Speaker McCluskie 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.