At least 60 California credit unions will accept the state's IOUs, which the Golden State began issuing July 2 instead of employee paychecks. A growing list of participating credit unions is posted on the California Credit Union League's Web site, ccul.org.

Henry Kertman, vice president of public affairs, said budget issues are more severe than usual this year, and unlike previous years when lawmakers would settle at the last minute, he hasn't seen any optimistic signs of a resolution.

IOU creditors must hold on to them until they mature on Oct. 2, or find a financial institution that will cash them. The state notes pay a 3.75% annual rate upon maturity.

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