Shaun Laughlin

State Representative Legislative District 23 Seat B

Biography & Background

Shaun Laughlin is a fifth generation Idahoan who grew up in Melba and Caldwell and now lives in Kuna. Shaun is one of only a few people who can say they grew up on an island in Idaho, living for many years on Noble Island (aka Laughlin Island) on the Snake River between Melba and Murphy. After graduating from Caldwell High School in 1994, Shaun attended the University of Idaho studying agriculture, and later graduated from Boise State University in 2009 and 2010 with Associate and Bachelor’s degrees in Fire Science. Shaun has been married to his amazing wife, Erin (who works as a middle school science teacher in Kuna), for nearly 22 years and has two daughters: Hailey (16) and Olivia (9). He is an avid woodworker and outdoorsman who enjoys skiing, hunting, fishing, camping, backpacking, and riding mules in the beautiful Idaho rangelands and mountains.

Shaun began his career as a firefighter with Nampa Fire Department (NFD) in 2001 where he has worked for the past 20 years, starting as a probie (probationary firefighter), working his way up to driver, and currently serves as a Captain for NFD. During his tenure in firefighting, he has been an advocate for the health and safety of first responders including police, career and volunteer firefighters, and emergency medical providers. Having successfully worked with the legislature on these health and safety issues, Shaun knows how to get things done in the Idaho statehouse. Shaun will now focus his time and energy on ensuring that Idaho will provide a top public education system for our kids, provide real property tax relief for homeowners, and bolster our safety and security by supporting public safety.

I look forward to being YOUR local Representative to the state of Idaho in the house of representatives seat 12A.

Top 3 Issues:

1. Shaun has deep roots in Idaho education and understands how important a good education is to everyday Idahoans, just as Idaho’s founders did: “CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF IDAHO ARTICLE IX EDUCATION AND SCHOOL LANDS Section 1. LEGISLATURE TO ESTABLISH SYSTEM OF FREE SCHOOLS. The stability of a republican form of government depending mainly upon the intelligence of the people, it shall be the duty of the legislature of Idaho, to establish and maintain a general, uniform and thorough system of public, free common schools.” Students coming out of the public and private education systems in Idaho need to be prepared for the world. Over the last several years, we have seen how the world economy has the power to change local prices and even policies, and our children need to learn how to navigate this complex environment. Through a comprehensive K-12 education, our kids can learn how to operate within what has become a network of computers and people so that they can be successful and live the life they want to lead. Appropriately funding our public school system is essential to fulfill our obligation to Idaho children and families. Indeed, the very “stability of a republican form of government . . .[depends] mainly upon the intelligence of the people.” Keeping our kids engaged and informed about what the State and her government are doing is what will keep Idaho, well, Idaho!
2. Shaun started his public safety career as a volunteer firefighter in Moscow while going to college. It was also the first time he has worked side-by-side with law enforcement to serve and protect a community. Fast forward two decades, and that love of service to the community is as strong as ever. Shaun has served the Nampa Fire Department with distinction, earning two Letters of Commendation and two Letters of Recognition for his excellence in customer service. For his tireless efforts to protect the health and safety of firefighters in Idaho, he earned the PFFI’s Firefighter of the Year in 2016 for his work in the legislature. Since 2016, Shaun has continued to work in the legislature to secure mental health protections for Idaho’s first responders: firefighters, police officers, and emergency medical workers. With an average suicide rate 6 times that of the general public, Shaun does not want to see one more first responder take his or her own life due to the inaccessibility of mental health care. Shaun Backs the Blue and believes we owe a debt to our law enforcement officers. Police officers sacrifice their own safety to protect the lives of citizens and other first responders on scene. Quite often, scenes are not safe enough for other responders to safely operate. We as firefighters and EMT’s rely on our brothers and sisters in law enforcement to make a safe environment so we can enter and mitigate situations that require our specialties.
3. Many attempts have been made over the years to bring meaningful tax relief to Idaho families. Shaun believes that several of these attempts have been fruitful, but many have fallen short to truly help Idaho families save their hard-earned money. Property taxes have skyrocketed due to the increase in home values without any real relief in the taxes paid by homeowners. Shaun wants to provide real tax relief to Idaho homeowners by properly adjusting the homeowner’s exemption to an appropriate level. Property tax is a very stable and consistent income stream used to provide necessary services to the citizens of each local taxing district. The stability is due to home valuations that typically only increase or decrease a little each year. Taxing districts, (school districts, fire districts, and city governments), require a stable income to provide essential services such as fire protection, law enforcement, and an education system for your children. Good fiscal policy by these districts relies on a predictable income stream for proper budgeting in the same way that a family does. The sharp rise in home prices over the last few years has fortunately and unfortunately resulted in record property tax income for these local taxing districts. I say fortunately, because the increase in income has allowed entities to make expenditures for repairs and purchases that have, in some cases, been put off since the recession. Unfortunately, however, the rise in taxes on Idaho homes has resulted in a property tax shift from other sources onto homeowners.

Integrity in Affiliation

Submission: No