Welcome to the Law Department’s Portal for Transmitting Proposed Regulations for Review

Overview

The Administrative Procedures Act (APA), City Code, General Provisions, Title 4, requires City regulations to be submitted to the Law Department for review and approval before they can be posted for public comment or declared legally effective. This webpage provides links to the resources needed to draft proposed regulations in the APA format and a link to access the transmittal document required to accompany each proposed regulation submitted to the Law Department for review. 

Regulations Affected by the APA

The APA only applies to agency rules that regulate public behavior or affect public rights.  It does not regulate a statement, policy or procedure that pertains only to the internal management or operations of an agency, such as an agency’s organizational affairs or its employee rules of conduct, training and discipline.   

The Law Department is aware that some regulations may seek to regulate both public behavior and internal operations in the same document. In these instances, in order to reduce the work involved in complying with the APA, agencies may wish to consider separating the provisions that regulate public behavior from internally facing provisions. This bifurcation is not an APA requirement, however.  

Drafting Regulations

The APA requires City regulations to be drafted in same style required by the Code of Maryland Regulation (COMAR) with a few modifications.  To guide you in the drafting process:

  1. Review the Style Manual for Regulations.  
  2. View the Model Regulation as an example of the Style’s application.
  3. Review the COBRA Table of Contents. The TOC establishes the Title under which an agency's regulations will be listed in the Code of Baltimore City Regulations, Annotated (COBRA).  For example, regulations of the Department of Transporation will be listed under Title 14.  The title of each DOT regulation therefore will always begin with the number 14. The Model Regulation is titled “14.02 Dockless Vehicles for Hire.” Translated, this means these regulations fall under Title 14, Subtitle 02 in the COBRA. Note that every new regulatory topic will be listed under a unique subtitle.  If the next approved DOT regulation concerns the topic of Street Cuts, the title of that regulation might be 14.03 Street Cut Policies.

Questions about APA drafting style should be direct to the Department of Legislative Reference.

Questions about the legality of a proposed regulation can be emailed to [email protected].

To submit a proposed regulation to the Law Department for legal review, click here