Senate Republicans don’t want to raise taxes in the budget. That much is clear.

But what about cutting spending in order to have the budget in balance, as is legally required?

“Some of it can be reorienting spending as opposed to making cuts,” said Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan at a news conference this morning unveiling a GOP-backed tax and regulatory cutting plan. “But this is not easy. It’s not an easy year. I’m not going to suggest to the contrary.”

Lawmakers no matter the party have been loathe to make broad-based spending cuts, especially in an election year. Oxen like education and health care are rarely gored during even-numbered years in Albany, even with deficits.

This year, lawmakers must close a $4.4 billion shortfall, which shrinks to $1.7 billion when spending is kept a less than 2 percent increase (Republicans have wanted to make that limit — imposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo since he took office — a legally required one).

Getting lawmakers to identify areas where they would cut spending is not a fruitful exercise.

“That’s why we have this deliberative process called the budget hearings and we are conferencing these issues,” Flanagan said when asked about spending cuts.

Meanwhile, Republicans want to cut taxes for businesses by $495 million and create a STAR program for small businesses worth $275 million while also providing tax relief with the goal of boosting manufacturing in the state. The START-UP NY program would also be mothballed under the Senate GOP plan, but the money would be redirected to promoting tourism.

“We don’t want to raise taxes, people are taxed enough,” Flanagan said. “The governor will lambaste the federal government for raising taxes and yet he’ll raise taxes to the tune of almost $3 billion in his own budget.”