Suzanne Crouch

Suzanne Crouch is a Republican member of the Indiana House of Representatives representing the 78th district where she has served since 2005.

Early life

Crouch graduated from Mater Dei High School in Evansville and received her Bachelor of Science degree from Purdue University, majoring in political science. Prior to her service in local government, Suzanne served as Vanderburgh County Republican Central Committee Chairman for 4 years. Under her chairmanship, a majority of Republicans were elected to County Council, the first time in 60 years that Republicans controlled that body.


Crouch was elected Vanderburgh County Auditor in 1994. During her two terms as Auditor, she established a reputation of fighting for government efficiency, responsiveness, accountability and accessibility. As Auditor, her office received, for the first time in decades, a clean bill of health every year from the State Board of Accounts.


In 2002, Suzanne was elected to the Vanderburgh County Board of Commissioners and served as President until the end of her term in 2005. She worked to televise weekly Commission meetings and by holding public hearings to seek the public’s input on important issues. While serving as president, the Commissioners, for the first time ever, applied and received federal transportation dollars for a local road project.

State Representative

In 2005 the district 78 seat for state representative was vacated by Vaneta Becker, who had moved to the State Senate to fill the vacated seat of Greg Server. House District 78 contains parts of Spencer, Vanderburgh and Warrick counties. Portions of Evansville, as well as Newburgh, Richland, Hatfield, Darmstadt and McCutchanville are within the borders of the district. Crouch was elected to fill the position in a caucus by precinct committeemen. She was appointed Vice Chairman of Public Health Committee in the state legislature. Crouch was challenged in the 2006 republican primary by conservative activist Jonathan Fulton but easily defeated him winning 63% of the vote.

Salvia divinorum

On January 13, 2008 it was reported that State Representative Suzanne Crouch was proposing a bill that wants Indiana law rewritten to declare the psychoactive herb Salvia divinorum a Schedule 1 controlled substance. Crouch’s proposal would make the manufacture, sale or possession with intent to deliver salvia a Class B felony, carrying a potential penalty of six to 20 years. The offense would be a Class A felony if the delivery or sale of Salvia divinorum were to someone under age 18, on a school bus or within 1,000 feet of school property, a park, family housing complex or youth program center. A conviction for a Class A felony would carry a 20- to 50-year sentence. The bill has not yet been assigned to a committee.
Crouch was reported as saying – “The fact it has that kind of (hallucinogenic) reaction and is not illegal certainly caused me to look at it seriously”.
An editorial published by the Evansville Courier & Press on January 15, 2008 asked – ” Are the proposed penalties of decades in prison appropriate? It’s easy to demand Draconian sentences, until it’s your teenager who gets caught”. It suggested that there were other, more pressing, concerns for Indiana’s lawmakers during the 2008 legislative session, saying – “Crouch’s bill instead should be referred to a study committee for hearings this summer, with an eye to considering it in the 2009 session. It’s not as if we have an epidemic of salvia divinorum abuse that requires immediate action.”
An online poll was conducted in connection with Indianapolis news channel’s stories earlier in November 2007, asking the question – “Do you believe Indiana should regulate Salvia divinorum?” A majority of 76% of the polls respondents were opposed to outright prohibition (59% preferring age regulations, and 17% no restrictions at all).
Opponents of extremely prohibitive Salvia restrictions argue that such reactions are largely due to an inherent prejudice and a particular cultural bias rather than any actual balance of evidence, pointing out inconsistencies in attitudes toward other more toxic and addictive drugs such as alcohol and nicotine. While not objecting to some form of regulatory legal control, in particular with regard to the sale to minors or sale of enhanced high-strength extracts, most Salvia proponents otherwise argue against stricter legislation

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