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, generally unpredictable and filled with land mines that must be avoided or at least navigated with extreme care, confidence, political nuances and a deftness that comes only with the institutional knowledge and extensive experience we have. 

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 staff is vigilant in always looking out for you.

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

We help members navigate confusing and 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 2018:

  • 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.
    • 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.
  • Participated in AmericanHort’s webinar on new trucking regulations, to learn 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, or at least in Illinois.
  • Engaged in a phone and mail campaign to Illinois' US Senators and Republican Congressmen imploring them to demand significant changes to the agriculture labor provisions in Representative Goodlatte’s SAF Act bill before leadership calls the bill for a vote

  • Worked with the IGIA Public Policy Committee and Board of Directors to take official association positions on bills pending before the state legislature. With the help of lobbyist Molly Rockford, we are monitoring and reviewing countless bills already introduced, that could affect the Illinois nursery and landscape industry and/or small businesses across the state.

  • Hosted a meeting to discuss the Chicago Region Trees Initiative (CRTI) and its opportunities for IL nurseries. 
    • We worked to gauge member nursery interest in using the IL State Nursery to produce liner stock from locally-sourced seed that IGIA growers can acquire, grow out, and ultimately sell. 
    • This would require a memo of understanding with the Morton Arboretum and IL State Nursery to facilitate this potential cooperative initiative.
  • Coordinated with the IL State Beekeepers Association to provide joint feedback to the IL Department of Agriculture on a proposed bill to amend the Bees and Apiaries Act. 

Support Our Efforts by Supporting the Illinois Green Industry Political Action Committee (GIPAC)

GIPAC was created specifically for the purpose of soliciting and contributing voluntary funds to candidates for state and federal elective offices who are supportive of Illinois’ nursery and landscape industry and also for the purpose of initiating or cultivating legislative initiatives, public policy programs and advocacy efforts. Learn More

Donate to GIPAC