After seven hours of debate that stretched out over parts of two days, the State Senate has given preliminary approval to legislation aimed at improving conditions at the state’s nursing homes. In the end, it was approved on a 33-to-nothing vote. In a nutshell, the bill calls for regular inspections – some of them unannounced – and hefty fines for nursing homes operating under less than healthy or sanitary conditions. The bill was not passed without compromise. Some Senators weren’t happy with some of the tough talk that was cut from the final version. But, Senator Jon Dolan of Lake St. Louis, the sponsor, says deals had to be made to get the package passed. The bill needs one more positive vote in the Senate before it can be sent to the House.