State Treasurer Dale Folwell

State Treasurer Dale Folwell

Top Story Weekly Briefing

State Treasurer Dale Folwell should be doing a better job of investing NC pension funds

PW investigation raises important questions about holding billions of dollars in cash In a way, there’s something almost quaint about the investment strategy that North Carolina’s conservative Republican treasurer, Dale Folwell, pursues for the massive pension funds he oversees for the state’s public employees and retirees.

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

PW special report: NC treasurer’s love for cash in the pension fund hobbled returns during the stock market boom  

State Treasurer Dale Folwell refers to himself as the “Keeper of the Public Purse.” And since he was elected to the job that includes managing pension funds for state and local government employees, Folwell has been stuffing that purse with cash.  Under Folwell’s direction, the pension fund holds more of its money in cash than the department’s own guidelines direct and has considerably higher cash holdings than similar public pension funds. North Carolina’s pension fund is among the 10 largest public pensions in the country. None of the other nine hold close to as great a proportion of their assets in cash as North Carolina does, according to their most recent financial reports.  

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

State Treasurer backs legislation that would give millions in NC free or discounted hospital care. It faces more review.  

Millions of North Carolinians would be eligible for discounted or free hospital care, even after their insurance was billed, under proposed legislation debated this week.   People who make up to 200% of the federal poverty level – this year, that’s $55,500 for a family of four - would receive free hospital care, under House Bill 1039. People in households of four people with incomes between $55,500 and $166,500, or 600% of the federal poverty level, would be eligible for discounts.

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COVID-19 Education Top Story

As new school year gets underway, educators grapple with the COVID mask mandates

Tuesday morning was warm and muggy. Eyeglasses above tightly fitted masks fogged over with each breath.  At Bethesda Elementary School in Durham, students, teachers and staff members all complied with the district’s mandate to wear masks while indoors. It was the first day of classes for thousands of Durham Public Schools students who attend schools operating on a traditional calendar. Most of the state’s 1.5 million students started classes this week. 

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

More financial trouble is predicted for NC cities and counties. What’s the solution?

In a budget crisis, these entities can lose control of their finances to the state Janet Gerald, mayor pro tem of Kingstown, knew high sewer costs were a financial strain for the town when she was took office three years ago. Still, the realization that the town needed to relinquish control of its spending hit her hard.   “I was a little disappointed,” she said. “I was sad. I was heartbroken. I was embarrassed. I was crushed.”

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