Hallie Mason, director of public policy for Tomblin, said the Governor's Office is willing to work with the Legislature to come up with a balanced budget.
"The governor is willing, as the Legislature reaches out, to discuss various proposals with them," said Mason, who said that as a former Finance Committee chairman, the governor understands the give and take of the budget process.
While Tomblin has not supported any tax increases while governor, Mason said the administration would not rule it out if necessary to balance the budget.
"Everything is on the table," she said.
Prezioso, however, said the Legislature is unlikely to vote for a tax hike, even a temporary one, in an election year.
"The chance of a tax increase getting through this session is pretty slim," he said.
Likewise, Prezioso said, there's no chance the Legislature will kill pay raises for public schoolteachers, service personnel and state employees that Tomblin announced in the State of the State address, even though the raises would add more than $41 million in new costs to the 2014-15 budget.
"That horse is out of the barn," he said.
Prezioso said the Legislature ultimately may have to tap deeper into the state's Rainy Day emergency revenue fund than the $83.83 million Tomblin has proposed taking out of fund to balance the budget.
Prezioso said he's reluctant to raid the Rainy Day fund, fearing it will set a bad precedent.
"After that, it's fair game for everyone," he said.
In the fund's 18-year history, the Legislature has used limited amounts of Rainy Day funds only for recovery efforts from natural disasters.
The fund, which actually is in two accounts, contains more than $918 million.
Reach Phil Kabler at ph...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1220.