Ross announces plans to retire after 2014

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Nine-term State Rep. won’t seek reelection; Walker eyed as GOP candidate

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State Rep. Chris Ross (R-158) announced Tuesday that he wouldn’t seek a 10th term in the statehouse.

By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times
EAST MARLBOROUGH — State Rep. Chris Ross (R-158) announced Tuesday that he would not seek a 10th term in the state House of Representatives.

Ross, currently a township resident, has served nine terms in the house, since his first election in 1996. Previously, he served as a member of the London Grove Board of Supervisors.

Although no Democratic candidate has formally stepped forward, it appears that East Marlborough Board of Supervisors chair Cuyler Walker will be seeking the Republican nomination, Chester County Republican Party sources confirmed Wednesday.

“It has been an honor to serve the citizens of the 158th Legislative District for 18 years in the Pennsylvania House,” said Ross in a statement.  “However, I am ready to step aside when my current term ends next year.

“Furthermore, by not having to manage a campaign next year, I can better focus on passing four bills I have been working on this year that would simplify the real estate tax sale law; require diesel generators that sell power into the electric grid to meet air quality standards; establish the authority for senior centers and others to create ‘drop-in’ programs for fragile elderly who are not ready for adult day care; and reform the current state oversight program for distressed municipalities, also known as Act 47.”

Ross currently serves as chairman of the House Commerce Committee, vice chairman of the Local Government Commission, and is a member of the House Environmental Resources and Energy and Urban Affairs committees.

While he’s not running again, Ross said he expects to be active during his remaining time in office.

He said he is also looking forward to leading the Commerce Committee in a review of Pennsylvania’s 113 different economic development programs.

“This area of law cries out for simplification and consolidation,” he said. “We also need to review these programs for effectiveness and value.”

To date, Ross has authored 28 bills that have become law during his time in office, including ones that required electric utilities to purchase more renewable energy, provided a system for recycling computers and televisions, authorized a better system for treating kidney disease, and allowed unemployed workers to start a new business without immediately giving up their unemployment benefits.

Through his service on the Local Government Commission, Ross, using his experience as a township supervisors, supported a number of successful bills designed to help municipalities function more efficiently.

As former the chairman and current member of the House Urban Affairs Committee, he worked on legislation to address Harrisburg’s financial crisis, Philadelphia’s real estate tax assessment reform and taxicab regulation by the Philadelphia Parking Authority.

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