Legislative & Advocacy Efforts

One of the most impactful things we do for our members is to monitor legislative matters & actively engage in and continuously cultivate advocacy efforts. With our full-time lobbyist, we have a constant presence at the Illinois State Capitol to protect and advance the interests of the nursery and landscape industry. In conjunction with the lobbyist, the IGIA team is always looking out for you.

We maintain a two-way line of communication and continue to build effective relationships with the state agencies that regulate our industry and strive to further cultivate relationships with the key managers and supervisors of the front-line staff with whom you and your people interact in the trenches.

We help members navigate cumbersome bureaucracies, cut through red tape to efficiently find answers to your important questions, and provide a direct pipeline to the regulators to enhance your ability to continue operating a viable business in Illinois. 

Working Together

Below is an overview of the issues we have been actively engaged in on your behalf:

Work with the IGIA Public Policy Committee and Board of Directors to take official association positions on bills pending before the state legislature in the spring and fall legislative sessions. 

  • With the help of lobbyist Molly Rockford, we monitor and review countless bills that could affect the Illinois nursery and landscape industry and/or small businesses across the state.
  • Members can access Weekly Legislative Summary reports provided by our lobbyist to see the activity that has occurred each week the General Assembly is in session.

Represent IGIA member interests as the Illinois Invasive Species Council Effort is relaunched in our state at the direction of the Illinois Forestry Council and other industry stakeholders.

  • Beginning in early 2019, participated in a committee to define the role and and makeup of an overarching council that will endeavor to govern risk assessment, education and general awareness of invasive species in Illinois.
  • The Governing Council will consist of not less than seven and not more than 15 Board Members with representation from at least one and not more than three individuals:
    • Scientists from accredited universities, institutions, and/or botanical gardens
    • Wildlife experts
    • Professional ecological systems managers
    • Industry representatives
    • Municipalities
    • Illinois Department of Agriculture and Illinois Department of Natural Resources
  • The President and President Elect shall each be elected to one, two-year term with the President Elect to assume the role of President at the end of their first term.  Term of service for all Council Members shall be two years.

  • The Council was officially launched in 2021. Green Industry has strong representation. Steve Worth, Kankakee Nursery, is serving as President of the Council.  Ann Tosovsky, Home Nursery, serves as Secretary of the Council. Kellie Schmidt, IGIA, is co-chair of the Terrestrial Plants Committee. 
  • The inaugural annual meeting of the council was held on December 7, 2021 at the Department of Natural Resources. 

Facilitate ongoing discussions between IGIA members and the Chicago Region Trees Initiative (CRTI) for the benefit of the entire industry.

  • IGIA Executive Director, Kellie Schmidt, sits on the Executive Advisory Council
  • Several of our IGIA members serve as part of the CRTI working groups including:
    • Tree and Green Infrastructure Work Group
    • Tree Stewardship and Planting Work Group
    • Forest Composition and Analysis Work Group
    • Tree Risk Assessment and Management Work Group
    • Communications Work Group
  • We have worked with CRTI to engage in a contract growing RFP process that will involve Illinois growers with funding obtained through the Walder grant to supply trees to the most under-served areas of Chicago.

Support Our Advocacy Efforts with a Donation to IGIA Public Policy 

Making a donation to legislative and advocacy efforts is easy.  You can mail a check to the IGIA office at 901 S. 2nd St, Ste 101, Springfield, IL 62704. Call the office at 217.546.4733 to talk with Executive Director Kellie Schmidt and make a payment by phone.  Or, you may donate using the form at the link below.