AUBURN, Ind. (WANE) — State Sen. Dennis Kruse is giving up his seat in Indiana’s General Assembly after more than 30 years to spend more time with his wife and family.
The Auburn Republican announced Friday he will not seek re-election when his current term ends in 2022.
Kruse has served in the Statehouse since 1989. He was a state representative from 1989 until 2004, and in the Senate since 2004.
“Being able to serve my community for so many years has been an opportunity of a lifetime,” Kruse said. “I am thankful to God and for the people of Allen and DeKalb counties for putting their trust in me. I have decided to retire to spend more time with my wife and family, but as I go into my final session, I will continue to serve Senate District 14 to the best of my ability.”
Kruse’s office shared these accomplishments:
School choice for families
A strong proponent of school choice, Kruse carried many bills supporting a family’s ability to choose where their children go to school. Kruse sponsored the original bill that created Indiana’s Choice Scholarship voucher program, and also sponsored the Innovation Network School Law, which encourages more collaboration between school districts and charter operators.
Protecting religious freedom
A longtime advocate for religious freedom, Kruse sponsored a law that protects a student’s right to voluntarily pray in schools. He also authored a law that allows students to receive academic credit for religious instruction and a law that gives parents more oversight on what their children are taught. Kruse authored Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which protects the religious liberty of Hoosiers from infringement by the state and local governments.
Kruse authored legislation supporting new mothers by requiring many Indiana businesses to provide lactation areas for their female employees. He also sponsored the proposed constitutional amendment that would have defined marriage in Indiana as the union of one man and one woman.
Kruse, who has long been an advocate for civic engagement among young people, authored a law in 2019 requiring Indiana’s high school students to take the U.S. citizenship test. He also supported legislation in 2021 requiring a civics course for Hoosier middle school students.
During his service, Kruse earned the National Charter School Award for making Indiana the best state for charter schools. He was also named the Most Influential in State and Local Government by the National Afterschool Association for creating the After School Network Program Fund, and the Legislator of the Year by Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Kruse is one of only two people in 115 years to have received an honorary doctorate from Harrison College. He is also a recipient of and an honorary degree from Ivy Tech Community College.