ATLANTA -- Gov. Nathan Deal signed into law House Bill 139 Monday that will allow candidates for sheriff to submit transcripts in place of a diploma to prove high school graduation.
Existing law requires sheriffs to have a high-school education and prove it when they qualify to run for office.
Rep. Henry "Wayne" Howard, D-Augusta, pushed the legislation because of frustration by candidates for Richmond County’s sheriff race last year. It turns out, that wasn’t the only place that had the problem, and Rep. Mark Hamilton, R-Cumming, introduced substantially the same bill.
Howard said he agreed to back Hamilton’s proposal, and that is what passed and won Deal’s signature.
Howard said that candidates often have trouble turning up a diploma years after they graduate. Getting the high school to furnish an official transcript, as they would for a college application, seemed like a simple solution, he said.