Kansas GOP state Rep. Ron Howard of Wichita dies at 67


WICHITA, Kan. (AP) – Representative Ron Howard of Kansas, a conservative Wichita Republican who made a key vote this spring to enact a state income tax cut, has died. The Speaker’s Office said. He is 67 years old.

The speaker’s office and fellow legislators said Howard passed away Tuesday of a prolonged illness.

Governor Laura Kelly directed the flag to be lowered to half a foot in honor of Howard.

“My thoughts are with Congressman Ron Howard’s wife, Terri, and all of his friends and family during this difficult time,” Kelly said. “A former Boeing worker and lawn care service owner, Congressman Howard shares a proud, hard-working background with many in his South Wichita and Haysville counties. Despite facing tough health challenges, Representative Howard’s perseverance demonstrates his strong dedication to the people he serves.”

Howard missed most of the annual session of the GOP-controlled Legislature this year. But in early May, he returned to State in early May despite ill health to help Republicans overcome Democratic Governor Laura Kelly’s veto on the income tax cut, giving supporters had only enough votes for the required two-thirds majority in the House of Commons.

The cuts are intended to provide relief to businesses and individuals paying more state income taxes due to changes in federal tax law in late 2017 supported by former President Donald Trump. Critics say the cuts benefit the wealthy and big businesses.

Howard was a former employee of the plane maker Boeing when he began serving in the House of Representatives in January 2019. He became the Democratic incumbent in 2018 in a district that was partially male. Wichita and parts of Haysville.

He serves on the House Agriculture, Veterans and Local Government Committees and on the committee that reviews state spending on social services. | Kansas GOP state Rep. Ron Howard of Wichita dies at 67


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