FARMERSBURG, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Indiana’s Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch is hoping to change her title to Governor after the 2024 gubernatorial race.

“I have a vision for the future that will propel Indiana forward,” Crouch said. “And I have the experience and I have the leadership to be able to act on what needs to happen for Indiana to be successful.”

One key metric of success for Indiana in recent years has been the state’s economic standing.

“We have done a good job here in establishing a sound economic foundation where we have balanced budgets, low taxes, and healthy surpluses,” Crouch said.

The next step? Establishing better quality of life metrics within the state.

“It’s not just about the attractions that you have, like the Griffin Bike Park that I’ve been to many, many times… and your convention center, and downtown,” Crouch said. “It’s also about people’s mental health and their physical health.” Indiana unfortunately ranks 48th in the country in terms of what we spend on public health.”

Healthcare funding is one aspect of quality of life Crouch pointed to as an area of improvement in Indiana and a focus for the upcoming state legislative session in January.

“Indiana unfortunately ranks 48th in the country in terms of what we spend on public health,” Crouch shared. “That is why this upcoming session that issue will be taken up by the General Assembly, because the Public Health Commission did a study and made recommendations to the General Assembly on what steps we need to take to improve the health of Hoosiers.”

Crouch addressed reproductive health in the state, saying she is pro-life and wants to focus on women’s health in regards to future legislation. She touted Senate Bill 2, passed during a special legislative summer session, saying it provided “$75 million for the support of families and for the support of mothers and babies”. The legislation is a near-total abortion ban.

Crouch touched on mental health and addiction recovery funding as well.

“We’re looking at the Behavioral Health Commission, which made recommendations to the General Assembly, which will be taken up in this upcoming session looking at funding the 988 behavioral healthcare crisis line,” Crouch said. “Those are the things that we need to do as a state, because if we really want to be a state that has a legacy of excellence, we have to lift all Hoosiers to the next level, including Hoosiers with disabilities and those with mental illness and those struggling with addiction.”

Crouch said quality of life initiatives will drive more people, and more businesses, to the state.

“Quality of life is as important as economic incentives and low taxes,” Crouch said. “And why? Because that’s how we grow our population and we attract talent. It used to be that people followed businesses, but today businesses are following people.”

The 2023 Indiana legislative session kicks off on January 9 in Indianapolis. It is a budget year for state legislators.