A Proven Record of Protecting Taxpayers
Joe Emrick is a husband, father, award-winning educator, proven elected official and taxpayer who understands our everyday challenges and fights for our priorities in Harrisburg.
First elected in 2010 to serve the residents of the 137th Legislative District in Northampton County and be their voice in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, Joe has quickly become known as a strong voice for taxpayers across the state.
Joe is currently serving on the following four committees: Consumer Affairs, Game & Fisheries, Professional Licensure (Vice Chairman), and Tourism & Recreational Development. In addition to these responsibilities, he has been appointed to serve as a Deputy House Majority Whip.
Thanks to his support for the job creating small business people of Pennsylvania, Joe has been endorsed for Representative by the National Federation of Independent Business - the nation's largest small business organization. He also earned the endorsement of other groups interested in the continued economic growth and fiscal health of our state, and the protection of taxpayers.
Prior to serving as representative, Joe was a nationally-recognized educator for 18 years, and was honored by the Freedoms Foundation of Valley Forge for his innovative teaching of the concepts of entrepreneurship and the free enterprise system. Joe was also given the Excellence in Education Award by Lower Moreland School District, one of its highest honors. Before working in Lower Moreland, he taught history in the Stroudsburg and the Pleasant Valley school districts.
A native of the Slate Belt, Joe is a graduate of Bangor High School. He graduated Magna Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in history and secondary education from Lycoming College, where he was an Academic All-American football player. Joe also earned a master’s degree in education with a concentration in Social Studies from Kutztown University.
Joe's experience in government stems from his tenure as chairman of the Board of Supervisors in Upper Nazareth Township, where he led efforts to streamline and improve essential government services, such as increased police coverage, improved infrastructure and preserved open space. He also cut real property taxes 7 percent while eliminating all township debt and bringing more transparency to local government. Prior to his service in Upper Nazareth Township, Joe also served two years as a commissioner in Salisbury Township.
Joe and his family attend Mt. Bethel Church. He is active in his local community as a board member of Cornerstone Counseling Ministries and a member of the Nazareth YMCA.
Joe lives in Upper Nazareth Township with his wife, Christine, and two children, Olivia and Zoey.
• Investing more than $60 million in school safety grants to help make sure children are safe and sound while at school
• Passing bipartisan legislation to address the opioid crisis through addiction treatment, education, limiting opioid prescriptions, by working with law enforcement, and more
• Giving schools the flexibility and control to implement the best safety measures for their needs
• Stopped broad-based income and sales tax increases that unfairly targeted working families
• Member of the "Common Sense Caucus" that worked to identify hundreds of millions of dollars in budget savings and excess funds sitting in government accounts to avoid tax increases
• Focused state spending on our priorities - education, job creation and public safety - and controlled costs to avoid wasteful spending
• Working for the property tax relief we want by supporting initiatives that help local governments and school districts to reduce costs, passing a new law that gives local homeowners the ability to vote on certain property tax increases, and supporting the Property Tax Independence Act to fully eliminate school property taxes
• Passed historic public pension reform that will save taxpayers billions of dollars while still keeping our promise to current retirees and enrollees
• Providing record state funding to education – every budget Joe has supported as our Representative included more state funding for education than the year before, but still keeps in mind the needed balance between taxing and spending
• Focus on fundamental skills in math, reading, science, and technology that children need to succeed while reducing the need to “teach to the test”
• Investing more than $60 million in school safety grants that help school districts implement the best safety measures for their needs
• Successfully fought for a new bipartisan school funding formula to make certain that all school districts are treated fairly and our local schools receive back more of the money we send to Harrisburg
• Utilize technology to enhance student learning and provide greater access to tutoring, AP courses, courses not available at local schools, online learning, SAT prep, etc.
• Support vocational and skills-based education that provides needed skills (at a lower cost) to obtain good-paying jobs that provide for lifelong success
• Supporting smart tax reforms that make Pennsylvania competitive in the national marketplace, and help maintain and attract employers and entrepreneurs
• Working to streamline and modernize regulations to make Pennsylvania a fair, predictable, and consistent place to do business
• Passed important reforms to how the state sells beer and wine to increase customer convenience, and working to get the state out of the liquor business to reduce costs for taxpayers
• Supporting lawsuit abuse reforms to end frivolous lawsuits and support initiatives like “loser pays” and business specialty courts
• Promoting the assets of the 137th District to help attract new employers to our community
• Started the Safe & Scenic 611 Project to help communities throughout the 137th District
• Securing $851,000 in grant funding for a traffic light at the Route 191-Friedenstahl Avenue intersection
• Helping bring new business locations to our community to attract jobs and employers
• Working with local community groups, charities, business groups, and residents to promote events and initiatives that help our neighborhoods and the needy
• Lead by example - just like in the private sector, Joe submits only for actual expenses; he refuses the taxpayer-paid per diems, cell phone, and other perks. He also voluntarily posts his monthly expenses on-line for public review - one of just a handful of legislators to do so.
• Supported historic public pension reform that changes the system for legislators as well as public employees
• Supporting the elimination of WAMs once-and-for-all and replacing them with a transparent grant system based on the merit of public projects
• Pushing to end legislative per diems and require legislators to submit for legitimate expenses by following I.R.S. guidelines
• Supporting the use of technology to increase transparency by making more documents, financial information, legislative information, etc. available online for public review