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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 9, 2003

Insurance budget ensures continuation of essential services

SPRINGFIELD, ILL. - Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today proposed a fiscal year 2004 budget of $34.4 million for the Illinois Department of Insurance. The appropriation includes no funding from the General Revenue Fund, a decrease of $278,000 from fiscal year 2003.

Nearly $1 million ($952,000) collected from public pension regulation fees is earmarked to oversee public pension funds for local government employees and for suburban and downstate police and firefighters. The remainder of the department’s proposed budget includes $32.8 million from fees paid by the insurance industry to fund the agency’s financial solvency and consumer protection programs and a $700,000 federal grant for the Senior Health Insurance Program.

This appropriation allows the department to provide essential services to the citizens of Illinois, with zero impact on the General Revenue Fund. The proposed FY04 budget is $1.6 million less than the fiscal year 2003 budget and includes an appropriated headcount reduction of 77. By reallocating personnel and streamlining administration, the department will continue to oversee the financial and market operations of the nearly 2,000 insurance entities and more than 135,000 agents and brokers licensed in Illinois, while maintaining most of its consumer education and protection programs.

Department priorities will continue to be monitoring and examining the financial condition and market place activities of Illinois insurers, licensing and regulating insurance producers, and offering direct assistance to Illinoisans who need help in understanding their insurance coverage or resolving their insurance problems.



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