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 in 2019:

Worked with the IGIA Public Policy Committee and Board of Directors to take official association positions on bills pending before the state legislature during the 2019 legislative session. 

  • With the help of lobbyist Molly Rockford, we are monitoring and reviewing countless bills already introduced, that could affected 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.

Protected the interests of our landscape members while working in partnership with IL ASLA as they worked to get the Landscape Architecture Practice Act (SB1899) through the General Assembly to replace the Landscape Architecture Act of 1989.

  • Landscape architects are currently licensed under the Illinois Landscape Architecture Act of 1989, which is a title act that sunsets in 2020. In 2018, the Illinois Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ILASLA) approached us with their intention to introduce legislation that would create the Illinois Landscape Architecture Practice Act, to replace the title act.
  • 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. Illinois Landscape Contractors Association (ILCA) has also been closely involved in these conversations, in addition to the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation (IDPR), who would be responsible for enforcing the legislation.

Facilitated ongoing discussing between IGIA members and the Chicago Region Trees Initiative (CRTI)

  • For two years in a row, we have 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
Researched key facts about OSHA’s new respirable crystalline silica standards and the new rules that require employers use engineering controls to reduce workers' exposure to dust.
  • Workers who are exposed to respirable crystalline silica dust are at increased risk of developing serious silica-related diseases. OSHA’s newest standards require employers to take steps to protect workers from exposure to respirable crystalline silica. 
  • Controls include ventilation and wet methods for cutting and sawing crystalline silica-containing materials.
  • We have already received reports of OSHA's enforcement of the new standards in the form of stiff fines, prompting compliance questions from members.
  • Visit our Members-Only Resources page to learn more
Participated in AmericanHort webinars to stay on top of new trucking regulations and determine how members will be affected.
  • Subsequently initiated discussions with IDOT about enforcement of the law's ag exemption
  • Working to see if nursery and landscape material could eventually be included under a broader definition of “agricultural commodity” nationwide

Support Our Advocacy Afforts 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.