New State Treasurer wants to serve office’s customers better

by Roby Brock ([email protected]) 475 views 

Don’t look for new Treasurer of State Larry Walther to make big changes to the office he’s been appointed. He doesn’t believe in messing up a good thing and he also wants to learn more about who the office serves before looking for ways to tweak improvements.

“I want to know who our customers are,” he said on this week’s edition of Talk Business & Politics and Capitol View. “I’m thinking about how I can improve the Treasury. It’s a well-run machine right now. You don’t want to tweak things that are already going well.”

Walther said he didn’t think he would serve four more years at his previous state post, Secretary of the Department of Finance and Administration – the agency he had run for nearly nine years. He informed Gov. Sarah Sanders, who would be making the appointment to fill the State Treasurer’s position after the untimely death of Mark Lowery, and let her know he’d be willing to serve as Treasurer.

The DFA Secretary sits on the Board of Finance, which oversees investments made by the Treasurer’s office. Last fiscal year, the office earned $254.6 million in interest for the state. Walther’s knowledge of the office made his selection a good fit.

The Treasurer’s office performs some education-related functions by helping spread more financial literacy to schools and adults, and the office encourages parents and grandparents to invest in the state’s 529 plan, which allows for tax-free savings for college.

“I have a passion for education and that’s something that is important to me. I’m on the board of a college. I’ve done a lot in this area. My major in college was economics and that was a long time ago. But there’s a program that the Treasury has responsibility for, and that is, and it’s designed to promote education in adults, economic education in adults. You know, the basics of how to run their own home, don’t over-extend yourself, live within your means and things like that. And I think I can be of value to the state promoting something like that,” he said.

“We also had the 529 savings plans that will allow their children and grandchildren to go to college and they can do it tax-free with the money that’s in the 529 plan,” he added. “Education is the thing that makes the biggest difference in a person’s ability to support their family.”

You can watch Walther’s full interview in the video below.