Want to change state government? Speaker of the House, Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, has a plan to do so within the next 60 days. It's a good start to cleaning up the corruption plaguing the state.

Want to change state government? Speaker of the House, Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, has a plan to do so within the next 60 days.

A dramatic — some would call it drastic — plan to fire 3,000 state employees hired by the Blagojevich and Ryan gubernatorial administrations was presented by the speaker during a news conference Thursday.

The plan would carry out current Governor Pat Quinn’s call to “fumigate” state government in an effort to eliminate the culture of corruption that has resulted in one governor, George Ryan, being sent to prison and another governor, Rod Blagojevich, being indicted on 16 federal criminal counts after an extensive federal investigation.

Madigan’s plan calls for the workers to be fired within 60 days but the governor can rehire those he wants to keep. Labeled the “Officials and Employees Termination Act of 2009,” the measure would get rid of agency heads, assistant heads and deputy heads who were nominated by a governor between Jan. 11, 1999, and Jan. 29, 2009. It also would apply to members of executive boards or commissions who were nominated between those dates and to other officials whose jobs require Illinois Senate confirmation.

Gone, for example, would be Ginger Ostro, a top budget aide under Blagojevich who remained in a top spot for Quinn since he took office after the Blagojevich impeachment.

The beauty of this plan is that it terminates all the appointed personnel, regardless of their background. Because it is across the board, the reputation of these personnel are not disparaged.

Ferreting out which agency head contributed to the problems that have plagued our state government is not necessary, and our new governor has the authority to either re-appoint, or appoint someone new.

It effectively, and immediately, wipes the most troubling part of the corruption palette clean.
Such common sense is not the routine in Springfield, and it is gratifying to know that one of the most powerful politicians at our State Capitol shares the vision for a government that is responsible and representative of the people in Illinois.

Freeport Journal-Standard