RICHMOND, DEC. 11 -- Virginia's budget shortfall likely will balloon by at least another $450 million, leading to even more painful program cuts than were required by the earlier $1.4 billion shortfall, state officials said today.

Senate Majority Leader Hunter B. Andrews (D-Hampton), chairman of the Finance Committee, said the panel's staff has concluded that the total shortfall will come close to $2 billion.

A source in Gov. L. Douglas Wilder's administration said the Finance Committee's estimate is close to a figure the governor is expected to announce to the General Assembly's money committees next Monday. The governor has scheduled a budget briefing for some senior legislators on Thursday.

The committee's $450 million figure does not include an expected shortfall in transportation revenues, such as gasoline taxes, which are tallied in a separate fund to pay for road construction. Andrews said his staff expects those collections to be off by large percentages, which could spell trouble for Northern Virginia highway projects.

The slowdown in tax collections, caused by a cooling of the economy, makes it likely that programs protected from cuts in the earlier round -- such as welfare payments and local mental health agencies -- will not be spared from the budget ax this time, officials said.

The growth of Virginia's shortfall is the latest hard luck for the Washington region. Last week, Maryland Gov. William Donald Schaefer announced that a projected $423 million dip in revenue would require 1,800 layoffs.

In the earlier budget cuts in Virginia, education was a primary target. Public colleges and universities have been forced to lay off employees and reduce course offerings. Local aid to school districts is being cut by more than $170 million.

Virginia so far has laid off fewer than 1,000 workers, but salary raises that were scheduled to go into effect on Dec. 1 were canceled for the state's 100,000 employees. Some lawmakers said today that more layoffs are likely.

Wilder last month ordered state agency heads to submit contingency plans for new cuts totaling more than 7 percent. But if all the programs that were shielded from earlier cuts were again placed off limits, the savings would add up to only $125 million to $175 million, said Paul Timmreck, Wilder's secretary of finance.

Neither Timmreck nor Wilder's press secretary, Laura Dillard, would comment on the Finance Committee's estimates. But Timmreck said the administration is examining spending across all activities of state government.

"The only certainty in this business is that you have to balance the budget," he said.

Although Wilder has ruled out tax increases, some legislators said they will propose that the General Assembly examine that option when it convenes next month, unless the news about revenue collections is not as bad as expected.

"We would have to start looking at the revenue side of the picture, and, yes, that means taxes," said Sen. Joseph V. Gartlan Jr. (D-Mount Vernon). "We really would be cutting into bone and muscle in a serious way, and we can't let that happen."

But for now, Wilder's anti-tax stance clearly has the support of many legislators, particularly going into an election year for the General Assembly.

Del. Robert E. Harris (R-Fairfax), who serves on the House Appropriations Committee, said he agrees with administration officials who have told him that the additional budget shortfall of $400 million to $500 million will have to be made up by program cuts.

"It's going to make the budget process very tough," Harris said. "I think the challenge before the Northern Virginia delegation is to realize that cuts are coming, and to make sure that we are not {hurt} relative to other areas of the state."