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Mr. Pawlenty, who competed briefly last year for the GOP nomination before dropping out and endorsing Mr. Romney, said he thinks he could serve the Republican ticket better in other ways.

Being asked to run as vice president with Mr. Romney would be an honor, Mr. Pawlenty said, but he told CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday that he’s “encouraged people who asked this question in the campaign to look at other prospects.”

TENNESSEE

Critics blast state’s ‘no holding-hands bill’

NASHVILLE — Spurred by a classroom demonstration involving a sex toy, Tennessee recently enacted a pro-abstinence sex education law that is among the strictest in the nation.

The most debated section of the bill bars educators from promoting so-called “gateway sexual activity.” But supporters seemed too squeamish during floor debate to specify what that meant, so critics soon labeled it the “no holding-hands bill.”

One thing missing from the debate in the legislature was a discussion of whether the law signed by Republican Gov. Bill Haslam last month really would help reduce Tennessee’s high teenage pregnancy rate. Experts say it won’t and warn that it leaves teenagers inadequately educated about sexuality and prevention of pregnancy and disease.

State Rep. John J. DeBerry Jr., a Democrat, supported the new limits on what can be covered in sex-ed class as a way to help teenagers from going too far.

CALIFORNIA

City of Stockton, out of cash, weighs bankruptcy

FRESNO — Stockton, the California city with the nation’s second-highest foreclosure rate, is facing a decision on whether to become the biggest city to file for bankruptcy, as a deadline for talks between the city and its creditors approaches late Monday.

City officials are still hoping to reach a deal that would restructure millions of dollars of debt under a new state mediation law designed to help municipalities avoid bankruptcy, City Manager Bob Deis said.

On some nights, negotiations with the 18 creditors have stretched past midnight and remain confidential. But Mr. Deis said that to avoid bankruptcy, any deal would have to result in sufficient savings to make the city solvent.

Meantime, officials have made preparations in case mediation efforts fail. The Stockton City Council is scheduled to decide Tuesday whether to adopt a special budget, which would cover the city’s projected $26 million deficit in case of a bankruptcy declaration.

• From wire dispatches and staff reports