Efforts to "fumigate" state government are being scaled back and now would only affect about 700 people, House Speaker Michael Madigan said Wednesday.

Efforts to "fumigate" state government are being scaled back and now would only affect about 700 people, House Speaker Michael Madigan said Wednesday.

A bill sponsored by Madigan will still target certain people hired into state jobs or appointed to boards by either former governors Rod Blagojevich or George Ryan. A House committee approved the idea Wednesday and advanced it to the House floor.

However, it now focuses on people who needed Senate confirmation to be hired or appointed and people with politically sensitive jobs not protected by either the Rutan patronage decision or state personnel rules. Madigan acknowledged that one reason the bill was changed was to reduce the possibility of protracted lawsuits by fired employees.

The new version of the bill now allows even those targeted people to keep their jobs for 90 days after the bill becomes law. The previous version ousted the employees within 60 days. The change will give Gov. Pat Quinn to review the workers' performance and decide if he wants to keep them on the payroll.

Even before he became governor, Quinn said state government needed to be fumigated of people brought in by Blagojevich. Madigan said he was not happy with the pace of change by Quinn and said his bill will speed up the process.

GateHouse News Service State Capitol Bureau