State Roundup, February 6, 2017

BIPARTISAN DRUG ABUSE FIGHT: Fighting heroin abuse is one effort that seems likely to find bipartisan consensus this General Assembly session, with legislators from both sides of the political aisle proposing measures to address addiction prevention, treatment and long-term recovery, writes Amanda Yeager in the Annapolis Capital. She leads the story with a profile of a group made up of parents whose children died from drugs.

FRACKING BAN BILL: Opponents of the natural gas extraction method known as fracking introduced a bill in the Maryland Senate Friday to ban the practice. The effort to forbid hydraulic fracturing is expected to become one of the most heavily contested environmental battles of the 2017 General Assembly session. A moratorium on the practice is scheduled to expire in October, Michael Dresser of the Sun reports.

PRE-K TESTING MORATORIUM: Del. Haven Shoemaker has proposed a bill that would place a moratorium on implementing standardized state testing in pre-kindergarten. Such testing is reportedly only in the pilot phase this year, and not in Carroll County, but Shoemaker, who represents Carroll, said he is concerned about the widespread use of state-mandated tests in schools, John Kelvey of the Carroll County Times reports.