TSSA's Legislative Advocacy


TSSA’s legislative team works to ensure public officials are informed on the collective interests of self-storage owners in Texas. TSSA reviews and monitors hundreds of bills during the legislative session, as well as communicating with legislators, stakeholders, and the TSSA membership. This includes bills that may negatively impact the self-storage industry.


 

 TSSA Is Your Legislative Advocate

TSSA's most recent notable successful legislative efforts include the 2021 addition of the towing law, which allows facility owners to have certain vehicles towed from their property in lieu of foreclosure. In 2017, we had a hand in the addition of online auctions as part of Chapter 59 of the Texas Property Code. And in 2011, we were successful in adding email as an accepted method of sending claim notice to tenants.

Preparations are underway for the 2023 legislative session, which provides the opportunity to tackle the mandatory newspaper advertisement as part of the foreclosure process.

In 2011, TSSA worked diligently to advocate for changes to Chapter 59 during the legislative session, including the elimination of the newspaper advertising. We were successful in making many other changes, such as sending claim notification via email, but at the end of the session efforts fell short. During our last attempt, we were informed that the part of the bill addressing newspaper advertising had to be removed if we wanted to see the bill move forward in the legislative process.

While numerous other states have had success on this self-storage advocacy front over the past several years, the three states with the largest number of self-storage facilities have met with staunch resistance from the newspaper lobby and have not found success, even after numerous attempts.

Over the eight-year period from 2011-2019, 618 bills containing the word “newspaper” have been introduced. Of those, 187 bills with that word finally passed, with 78 of them instituting new newspaper posting requirements. Only six bills over that eight-year period eliminated a prior posting requirement, with five of those impacting state agencies exclusively.

 Plans for the 2023 Legislative Session

The TSSA Board of Directors decided that our top legislative priority for 2023 is eliminating the mandatory newspaper advertising. Our strategy planning has already begun. To accomplish this goal, we need help from our membership. If the 2021 legislative session is any indicator, there will be some very difficult and highly controversial issues before the legislature, such as school safety, reproductive issues, federal allocation for infrastructure and COVID-19. Something like newspaper ad requirements in a property code pales by comparison as far as a legislator’s priorities, so it is our job to begin the process of educating members and legislative staff early about the unfairness of why one private industry made up mostly of small business owners (self-storage) should be required to prop up the financial viability of another industry (newspapers), when there is clearly no compelling reason for this requirement to be maintained.

How Can You Help?


1) Provide data.
TSSA is beginning to gather data to help with our talking points as we meet with legislators and their staff. Please complete the online survey to help us quantify the cost burden involved in small businesses paying for newspaper ads their customers are unlikely to ever see. 

2) Tell us about relationships. Successful advocacy hinges on the relationships we establish with the people who ultimately vote on this piece of legislation. We are very fortunate to work with a fantastic membership that has strong ties in their respective communities. We need as many connections as possible. All connections matter, whether that connection is because of a friendship, family or business tie, or because of a common neighborhood, school, church, etc. If the legislator knows you and we can connect, it can be extremely helpful to enhance the understanding of the topic at hand. If you know someone who is a current legislator (state senator or representative), legislative staff, state official or if they own a newspaper or are influential on that side of the equation, please contact me at advocacy@txssa.org, or by calling 888-259-4902. 

3) Make a campaign contribution. One of the elements of successful advocacy hinges on helping those who have run for office to retire the debt campaigns can involve. TSSA does not have a political action committee, so all contributions must come from an individual or LLC (no corporate contributions are allowed in Texas). If you would consider a campaign contribution, please coordinate through me so that we can work with you to connect to our legislative effort. Whether we join you in a meeting to present the funds directly to the campaign, are involved in the handoff at a fundraiser or we simply know that the contribution happened, connecting the dots between your political contributions and the Texas self-storage industry is crucial. Please call or email Ginny Sutton to discuss this further.

4) Act when needed. Once session gets going, and bills start moving in the dynamic legislative process, we will call upon members to make phone calls and to send emails and letters of support to help their legislative representatives recognize the bill and make an informed vote. We encourage you to act when called. TSSA membership action is essential in our recipe for success. 

Want to get involved?

 

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