A new study by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) last week found that with few exceptions, state budgets are deteriorating. In fact, William Pound, NCSL executive director, noted that the fiscal situations have declined so much in some states that they appear to be in recession. So it’s perhaps timely to mention again the key contributions the insurance industry makes to state, local and national economies. The I.I.I. recently released updated 2008 state-specific editions of its online publication “A Firm Foundation”. The Web site shows the myriad ways in which insurers support national and state economies, from offering employment and fueling the capital markets, to defraying the cost of catastrophes and providing financial security and income to individuals and businesses through the payment of claims. Check out the updated California, South Carolina and Texas editions online.