CHICAGO — The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled yesterday that Gov. Tim Pawlenty exceeded his executive powers in using his unallotment authority to slash the fiscal 2010-11 budget sent to him by lawmakers last year, a finding that raises questions over the legality of $2.7 billion in spending cuts made by the governor.

In a split ruling, the court upheld a Ramsey County District Court decision that favored six residents who challenged the governor’s $5.4 million cut to a special state nutrition program for the elderly and disabled.

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