Rates up, but not for Monroe
The state Senate passed an insurance bill Thursday that would substantially raise windstorm insurance rates in coastal areas across the state -- except for Monroe County.
Monroe County was exempted from Senate Bill 1770 because the "Legislature finds that there is not a reasonable level of competition in Monroe County," the amendment states.
The bill deals with the rates of Citizens Property Insurance Corp., the state's insurer of last resort, which is practically the only windstorm insurance provider for the Florida Keys.
SB 1770 next goes to the state House of Representatives.
10 Cubans taken back
The Coast Guard cutter Knight Island took 10 Cubans back to the island nation at Bahia de Cabañas on Wednesday.
The migrants were stopped in two separate cases. On April 19, a raft with six Cubans aboard was stopped off Marathon. The day before, the cutter Richard Etheridge stopped another raft, with four Cubans aboard, in the Caribbean.
The Richard Etheridge, a 154-foot patrol boat based in Miami, is one of 58 new Sentinel-class fast response cutters set to replace the 110-foot patrol boats such as the Key West-based cutter Knight Island.
Senator to return to work
State Sen. Dwight Bullard, D-Cutler Bay, was hospitalized last weekend, but his staff seemed optimistic that he would be released from the hospital this week and could be back at work next week.
Bullard's staff would not go into detail about the nature of his medical condition, but his legislative assistant Sean Nixon did refer to Bullard being dehydrated.
Bullard could not be reached for comment on Thursday. He is missing the current legislative session, in which many bills are being passed.