Free lunch demand grows, uninsured kids, Romney-Bachmann ticket?

More students seeking free school lunch

Requests in Minnesota have gone up by more than 5 percent. Other states are seeing double digit increases. “These are very large increases and a direct reflection of the hardships American families are facing,” said Benjamin Senauer, a University of Minnesota economist who studies the meals program. (New York Times) [Map]

Minn. health administrator pushes back on study indicating increase in uninsured kids

A new study reports that there were more than 10,000 fewer children with health insurance in 2010 than 2008. These findings are reflecting of the rising number of adults without health insurance. It’s one of the wider reported stories across the state this morning. But, Stefan Gildemeister, interim director of the Health Economics Program for the Minnesota Department of Health, “is not convinced the report paints an accurate picture of health insurance coverage in the state,” reports the Bemidji Pioneer. “With everything we know about coverage in Minnesota – Minnesota provides broad health coverage for children,” he said. “I am skeptical about the numbers because I’m not aware the eligibility rates of children have changed.” The state department of health will be releasing its own survey soon.

Cravaack bill that limits airport searches for military personnel passes House

“The changes would eliminate pat-downs and boot removal for most military personnel, unless intelligence reports directed otherwise, and eliminate the need for them to take off their military jackets, belt buckles and medals,” explains the Duluth News Tribune. The bill passed unanimously.

Sens. Franken, Klobuchar work to restore heating assistance to last year’s levels. (KARE11)

Vikings stadium rests in rural lawmakers hands?

Forum Communication’s Don Davis writes, “In a Forum Communication survey of rural lawmakers earlier this fall, most said they were skeptical of stadium chances.” It’s unclear if that’s has changed. Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk sized up the dynamic. “Rural members are going to have to do some very heavy lifting. … I don’t know of any senator from Minneapolis who will vote for this.”

Chanhassen says no to Walmart.

Spending spurs effort to disband Greenwood Township reports the Timberjay.

Homeless is my Address … Not My Name” portrait exhibit opens in Rochester.

Vice President Bachmann?

It is difficult to cobble together a path where Rep. Michele Bachman gets the GOP nomination. That task is harder as her standing in Iowa has diminished significantly. But Time’s Jay Newton-Small looks at Bachmann as a potential Romney-Bachmann ticket. “Throughout the summer and fall, Romney has hardly needed to attack any of his rivals; Bachmann has done it for him. When Rick Perry was rising in the polls, it was Bachmann who went after him for supporting an HPV-vaccine mandate. When Herman Cain was on the ascent it was Bachmann who shot down his ‘9-9-9’ plan and his ‘inconsistencies.’ And on Tuesday Bachmann “abruptly canceled scheduled events in Iowa … to do nine conservative and Christian radio programs. Her No. 1 topic? Newt Gingrich’s soft stance on immigration. Which candidate does this most help? Mitt Romney.” Sounds Palinesque.

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