By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia city council will take on a pressing national issue.

Members joined other city officials in announcing hearings on student loan debt. They’re worried about the local impact.

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The District Attorney and public defender are usually on opposite sides but on this they agree: the crushing debt most law students graduate with keeps them from going into public service.

In fact, D.A. Seth Williams says he’s still paying off his student loans.

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“For years I was just putting it off. I signed a little form, I’m trying to put in forbearance. Well, chickens come home to roost and I have significant problems as many people do.”

It’s not clear how city officials can ease the burden, but Councilman Denny O’Brien says they do have a role to play.

“We can drive that conversation because of the unique concentration of these institutions in the Philadelphia area, we can lead this discussion and we intend to do that.”

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