The National Association of Insurance Commissioners is allowing for a 3.6% increase in spending in its proposed 2006 budget.[@@]

In the budget draft, NAIC officials predict that NAIC revenue will hold steady, at $59.3 million, and that NAIC spending will increase to $58.3 million, from $56.2 million this year.

The proposed spending plan will support regulatory modernization efforts, says Diane Koken, the Pennsylvania insurance commissioner and president of the NAIC, Kansas City, Mo.

Key budget features:

- Database fees: The NAIC expects database fees to fall 5.4%, to $1.4 million, because of insurance industry consolidation and slower-than-expected premium growth.

- Salaries: The budget for salaries would increase 5.1%. That includes an average annual increase of just 3.5% on base salaries, but it also includes an increase in turnover and a proposed addition of new employees.

- Travel: The travel budget would increase 16%.