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Biography

Joe Emrick is a husband, father, 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.

For the 2016-17 session, Joe is 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 was named a Guardian of Small Business by the National Federation of Independent Business for the 2015-16 session. 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 Calvary Baptist 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.

TAXES

Strong Fiscal Dis...

• Opposing broad-based tax increases that unfairly target working families, and instead working to control costs and focus state spending on our priorities

• 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 SB76 - the Property Tax Independence Act to fully eliminate school property taxes

• Passing historic public pension reform that will save taxpayers billions of dollars while still keeping our promise to current retirees and enrollees

• Focus spending on priorities like education, job creation, and public safety while working to implement common sense policies like zero-based budgeting that force the state to live within its means

EDUCATION

Education That Pr...

• 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”

• 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

ECONOMY

Spark Economic Gr...

• 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

ADDRESSING LOCAL ISSUES

Working for Our C...

• Starting 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 the new Chrin Interchange & Business Park to our community to attract jobs

• Working with local community groups, charities, business groups, and residents to promote events and initiatives that help our neighborhoods and the needy

POLITICAL REFORM

Tough Government ...

• 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.

• Voting to reduce the size of the legislature

• 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