Legislative Committee update
Sherry Cole, TNSSA Legislative Committee Chair:
At the end of this article, I’m going to ask you to do two things. Here’s why: As you may be aware, the TN Legislature is in recess until January 2013. Tennessee has a 2-year legislative session. If a bill is not passed in the first year of the session, it rolls over into the following year. In 2011, there were 2,157 bills introduced, and in 2012, there were 1,730 bills introduced. That was total of 3,887 bills which needed to be reviewed and, if appropriate, monitored by our lobbyist while he worked diligently to ensure passage of TNSSA’s bill to update the Tennessee Self-Service Storage Facility Act. The good news is that, with your active participation, our legislation became law in April 2011. The bad news? There was one bill introduced in the 2012 session and sent to committee that would have negatively changed our new law. Nathan Ridley, our lobbyist, was under contract to ensure that the Legislative Committee was aware of the status of the 2012 bill on a continuing basis. He also actively worked with legislators regarding that pending bill. The good news? The 2012 bill did not get out of committee and died at the end of the 2012 legislative session.
Having our lobbyist’s contract continue during the 2012 legislative session was the most effective way to ensure that our members’ interests were protected after TNSSA’s legislation became law in April 2011. Since our contract with Mr. Ridley expires at the end of 2012, the TNSSA Board of Directors must now consider its options for reviewing and monitoring the 2013-2014 legislative session. It is not feasible for the Legislative Committee to undertake these tasks. Accordingly, we have requested a proposed engagement letter for these services from Mr. Ridley.
One of the questions which will arise in the Board’s discussion is how to pay for the ongoing services of a lobbyist. Member donations are certainly encouraged and would be welcomed. I would ask that every member add a legislative donation to their renewal and/or send in a separate donation specifying it is for legislative purposes. This will help offset the costs of TNSSA’s efforts to protect the interests of all TN facility owners for the 2013-2014 legislative session. Additionally, please talk to storage facility owners in your area and encourage them to join TNSSA and take advantage of our numerous benefits, including the Legal Seminar on September 18 in Knoxville.
Thanks for all your past and future assistance!
TNSSA Legislative Chair