An unusually expensive meal was served at the statehouse cafeteria today. Remember the old line that “Nero fiddled while Rome burned” — well, many legislators nibbled on prime rib dinners over the lunch hour during their “special session” to deal with the state budget crisis. The price tag on the prime rib was seven bucks — but taxpayers didn’t pay the bill. Legislators had to get the cash out of their own pockets. Lawmakers met in committee meetings reviewing the deal that’ll restore just over a tenth of the 200-MILLION dollar across-the-board cut in the budget Governor Vilsack ordered November 1. It’ll ensure public safety, prisons and a few other vital state functions don’t get whacked by the budget ax.