Gov. Kelly orders flags to half-staff for deceased Kansas lawmaker

Kansas Rep. Ron Howard

Updated at 12:25 p.m. Wednesday

Gov. Laura Kelly has directed that flags be lowered to half-staff on all state buildings, grounds and facilities effective immediately until the day of interment, in honor of Kansas Rep. Ron Howard.

Howard, a Wichita Republican, died Tuesday from a lengthy illness. He was 67. He had represented Kansas House District 98 since 2019.

“My thoughts are with Rep. Ron Howard’s wife, Terri, and all of his friends and family during this difficult time,” Kelly said in a news release Wednesday. “A former Boeing worker and lawn care service owner, Rep. Howard shared a proud, hardworking background with many in his South Wichita and Haysville district. Despite facing difficult health challenges, Rep. Howard’s perseverance demonstrated his strong dedication to those he served.”

Howard cast a crucial vote this spring to enact state income tax cuts. He missed missed most of the legislative session this year, but he returned in early May to the Statehouse to help Republicans override Kelly’s veto of income tax cuts, giving supporters just enough votes for the necessary two-thirds majority in the House.

The cuts were aimed at providing relief to businesses and individuals paying more in state income taxes because of changes in federal tax laws at the end of 2017 championed by former President Donald Trump. Critics said the cuts favor the wealthy and big businesses.

— The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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