ANNAPOLIS, DEC. 21 -- Maryland Gov. William Donald Schaefer said today he will likely push for a ban on assault weapon sales and possibly other gun-control measures when the General Assembly convenes in January.

In a morning meeting with reporters, Schaefer also said recent state budget cuts should make everyone from county officials to environmentalists, educators and the sick realize the implications of an empty state treasury.

But, saying he was reelected in November with "a mandate from the people that there would be no tax increase," Schaefer said he is not using the threat of reduced services to build momentum for a tax study commission's recommendation of $800 million in new sales, income and personal property levies. That, he contended, is a separate issue, adding that he has no expectation that the recent sight of kidney dialysis patients protesting budget cuts at the State House will sell legislators on raising taxes.

"There will be no tax increase in order to solve the present crisis . . . . I am working on one crisis at a time," Schaefer said at a breakfast with reporters yesterday. "I hope that the newspapers and the people in the state understand what the state was doing to help people . . . . Like I said to groups that came in {protesting the cuts}: Where were you this summer {during the campaign} when I was being told that I was spending too much money."

On another topic, Schaefer said he thinks that health care workers infected with the AIDS virus should be required to disclose that fact to patients. The recent death of a Johns Hopkins Hospital surgeon with AIDS -- and the hospital's intention to test his 1,800 patients for the disease -- has caused a scramble in the state's medical community over the issue of disclosure.

"If a doctor is known to have AIDS, his patients should know it," Schaefer said.

The governor's comments in the hour-long session were laced with overtones from the November elections. He said, for example, that because tourism development programs have been unappreciated on the Eastern Shore -- where voters favored his GOP challenger -- those programs were subject to budget cuts.

One gun-control opponent also suggested that Schaefer's pending move against assault weapons is linked to the Democratic gubernatorial challenge waged by gun rights advocate Fred Griisser.

Schaefer "has got an ego the size of a baseball stadium," said Bob McMurray, spokesman for the Maryland State Rifle and Pistol Association. "This is vindictiveness."

Schaefer said that incidents such as the recent shooting of an elderly Baltimore barber have convinced him that more gun control is needed. His administration "will be helping" gun-control advocates like Del. Peter Franchot (D-Montgomery), he added.

Franchot is planning legislation to ban sales of military-style assault weapons, buyers of which are already subject to a seven-day waiting period. Schaefer's legislative aide, David S. Iannucci, said also under consideration are regulations governing the sale of semiautomatic handguns and a move to broaden the powers of the handgun review board established to curb sales of Saturday night specials.

The governor spoke to reporters as he continues grappling with an estimated $423 million deficit. He said the remaining $242 million in cuts needed to balance the budget will be "very painful" and will force him to demand that counties that have lagged in areas like helping the homeless begin paying more.

"I get so tired of letters to the editor: 'cut the fat; cut the waste' . . . . If they are on the Eastern Shore they say cut out the {Baltimore baseball} stadium. If they are in Central Maryland, they say stop building roads and bridges on the Eastern Shore."