The economic crisis is starting to cause noticeable problems for state insurance departments.
State government furloughs are affecting some insurance regulatory agencies.
The Maine Bureau of Insurance is one of them. The bureau noted on its website that it, along with all other Maine government departments and agencies, will be closed Monday.
This Monday will be the first in a series of 10 days where the entire state government will be shut down, according to Doug Dunbar, assistant to the commissioner of the Maine Department of Financial and Professional Regulations.
“That was a state-government-wide decision,” Dunbar says.
The government has designated 10 furlough days for this fiscal year and 10 more for the next fiscal year, Dunbar says.
The Arizona Department of Insurance has warned on its website that it might be shutting down indefinitely today, but that shutdown did not come to pass.
“We had that [warning] done in case a budget was not passed,” says Erin Klug, an Arizona department representative.
The budget was passed and now sits on the governor’s desk, Klug says.
But, “last fiscal year, there were significant budget cuts, including furlough days for many employees,” Klug states. “Over the fiscal year, 30% of our employees were laid off.”
In Pennsylvania, “the deficit is having a stress on the entire government’s budget and that trickles down to insurance,” says Randy Rohrbaugh, the state’s deputy insurance commissioner for administration. “All vacancies have been removed by the department. We won’t be able to hire people in those positions.”