Legislative & Advocacy Efforts

One of the most impactful things we do for our members is monitor legislative matters & actively engage in and continuously cultivate advocacy efforts. Yet these can be some of the hardest to communicate to you, as the process is fluid, and must be navigated with care, confidence, and a deftness that comes only with the institutional knowledge and experience that our team possesses. 

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 monitoring 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.

Protect the interests of IGIA landscape professional while working in partnership with IL ASLA and ILCA, as the proposed Landscape Architecture Practice Act (SB1899) moved through the General Assembly to replace the Landscape Architecture Act of 1989.

  • Until December 31, 2019, landscape architects were licensed under the Illinois Landscape Architecture Act of 1989. In 2018, the Illinois Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ILASLA) approached IGIA with their intention to introduce legislation that would create the Illinois Landscape Architecture Practice Act, to replace the title act.
  • In late 2019, it became clear that the proposed Landscape Practice Act would not move through the Senate successfully in time to replace the current Landscape Title Act, which was set to sunset at the end of 2019.  IL ASLA worked to move the updated Landscape Title Act through the General Assembly during the Fall Veto session, but it did not get called to vote. 
  • We have worked closely with ILASLA every step of the way to ensure that the interests of our landscape design-build and contractor companies are protected, in addition to the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation (IDPR), who would be responsible for enforcing the legislation. This is an unprecedented situation that should have been handled during the Spring 2020 legislative session, but then COVID-19 hit.
  • We remain hopeful that the updated Title Act will move through the General Assembly during the Fall Veto session at the end of November.

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.

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

  • In 2018 and 2019, we hosted a round table discussion between the CRTI team and IGIA growers to share initiative goals and objectives, proposed tactical plans, and brainstorm ways that we can ensure stock grown by our members is featured in CRTI communication efforts.
  • 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
  • In 2020, we have worked with CRTI to engage in a contract growing RFP process that will involved 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 62702. 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.