The Public Policy Committee of the Chatham Chamber of Commerce hosted a “lunch & learn” event in mid-April with Dale Folwell, N.C. State Treasurer, as a guest speaker.
According to Folwell, “The problems we are facing today and have faced over the past 12 months are the highest levels of food, job, health, and educational insecurity and uncertainty. Oftentimes, we face one of these problems at a time but not all of them at the same time.”
Folwell was sworn in as State Treasurer of North Carolina in 2017. As the keeper of the public purse, Folwell is responsible for a $118 billion state pension fund that provides retirement benefits for more than 900,000 teachers, law enforcement officers and other public workers. This equates to nearly 1 out of 10 adult North Carolinians who are on the pension plan, with$550 million is being paid out every 30 days for the state and local pension plan. Each state employee, including those right here in Chatham County, contribute 6% of their salary to the state pension plan.
Under Folwell’s tenure, the pension plan was rated among the top five highest-funded in the country and won accolades for proactive management and funding discipline.
Folwell also oversees the State Health Plan, which provides medical and pharmaceutical benefits to more than 720,000 current and retired public employees and is the largest purchaser of health care in North Carolina.
Folwell stated that the Treasurer’s office continually focuses on driving down healthcare costs and work to bring transparency to the state healthcare plan.
“We are constantly challenging assumptions and to figure out what is right, get it right and keep it right on behalf of those who teach, protect and serve, and taxpayers like them,” he said. “The blood that runs through me is Quaker and one of the spices of this religion is to be fair and just. There’s no Democrat, Republican, white or Black, or male and female money in the Treasurer’s office. It’s all green. The Treasurer’s office does not pick and choose which laws to apply or who to apply them to. This culture has been instilled in the Treasurer’s office.”
Chamber Talk is an occasional feature from the Chatham Chamber of Commerce.