RICHMOND, FEB. 1 -- Gov. L. Douglas Wilder announced today that Virginia's record budget gap has grown by another $176.2 million, prompting him to call for a new round of cuts that could include furloughing the state's 100,000 employees for up to 12 days.

Even as the state's two-year budget shortfall reached $2.2 billion, Wilder insisted that the General Assembly should hang onto the $200 million reserve fund he persuaded lawmakers to pass a year ago because the economy might continue to get worse.

"I would not hold a reserve and see people going hungry or not getting health care," Wilder said. But he said "the confluence of global events and our flagging economy makes the need for a substantial reserve more critical than ever."

The governor's huge rainy-day fund is certain to become the focus of debate this weekend, as the General Assembly wrestles with how to balance the budget without raising taxes, which the governor and most of his fellow Democrats have pledged not to do in this election year.

But many of those same Democrats say they can't justify keeping a bundle of money in the bank while making unprecedented cuts in money for schools and local governments, in addition to vast cuts in virtually every state program.

Wilder today called for additonal cuts of as much as 6 percent for some agencies, which could bring total cuts in the 1990-92 budget as high as 20 percent since his austere stewardship of the state began last year.

To offset plummeting revenue collections, Wilder gave the General Assembly a list of 18 new proposals, almost all of them sure to add to the skepticism that he already is facing over his spending plan.

Earlier this year, Wilder warned state employees that they might have to take as many as 12 days off without pay, but he later cut that in half. Today, he returned to the original 12-day plan, which he said would save about $56 million.

But much of the new savings would come not from cuts but from accounting changes, which also were a mark of Wilder's previous budget-balancing acts.

For example, Wilder announced today that state lottery profits would rise by $23.7 million more than previously forecast -- the second upward revision in lottery profits in two months. His prediction about higher lottery profits comes at a time when some legislators want to reduce the payoff to lottery winners, an action that lottery officials warn would cut down on ticket purchases.

The bad news on the revenue forecast came on a day when the the governor was working frantically to put together a bipartisan coalition in the legislature needed to enact his approach to balancing the budget.

With Wilder facing a formidable revolt in the Senate, where Majority Leader Hunter B. Andrews (Hampton) and other key Democrats on the Finance Committee are concocting their own budget scheme, discontent surfaced today in the House, where the Democratic leadership has been more sympathetic to the governor.

As a result, the minority Republicans, who seldom are consulted or courted by the majority Democrats, were given a briefing and pep talk today by Wilder's budget aides.

House Appropriations Chairman Robert B. Ball Sr. (D-Henrico) invited the Republicans to a meeting with Wilder's finance secretary, Paul W. Timmreck, at which Timmreck touted Wilder's proposal to use money from the state's Literary Fund to guarantee bonds for school construction.

At the same time, Wilder himself attempted to shore up support for the Literary Fund bill, which reportedly has divided the House Democratic Caucus, calling a handful of Democratic delegates to the Governor's Mansion this morning to discuss the issue.

The House Democratic Caucus has been meeting almost daily in closed sessions at which its leaders reportedly have attempting to hold ranks on the Wilder budget. Some Democrats said that support for the Literary Fund bill could be linked to support for a gun control bill expected to reach the floor this weekend, and that it was involved in some deals that resulted in support for an abortion rights resolution approved by the House today.

But in a sign of increasing disaffection among Democratic delegates, at least 15 bolted from the party line and joined a solid block of Republicans today to pass a GOP resolution calling for an amendment to the Virginia Constitution that would permit the legislature to stay in session longer.

Supporters of the resolution, sponsored by Del. Clinton Miller (R-Shenandoah) and approved 56 to 40, argued that lawmakers need more time to study and get public response to proposed legislation, especially the budget.

At the GOP briefing, Del. Vincent F. Callahan Jr. (R-McLean) told Timmreck that "no matter how you shape it, this {Literary Fund bill} is borrowing money for operating expenses."

The meeting ended with no consensus expressed about whether the Republicans would take a united stand for or against the idea.