This is the "Legislation" page of the "Baltimore City Research" guide.
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Baltimore City Research  

A basic guide for collecting information on Baltimore City legal resources.
Last Updated: Sep 6, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Legislation Print Page

Call Number Ranges

You may also find materials relevant to this topic by browsing the following call number in the Law Library: KFM 1799.B5.


Google Books

Search with "baltimore AND maryland AND ordinances" to find Google books on this subject.


Bills and Ordinances

Baltimore City is a special political entity.  As an incorporated city, Baltimore has both a city charter and a home-rule charter.  It is governed by a Charter, a Code and a Code of Public Local Laws.

The Charter sets out the basic powers and structure of government for Baltimore City.  The current edition of the Charter was ratified in 1994 and last amended by Ch. 624 of the Acts of 2013.  The Thurgood Marshall owns a paper copy of the Charter [KFM1799.B5B6 1996].  But the most up-to-date information will be found online at:

The Baltimore City Code is published by the Baltimore (City) Dept. of Legislative Reference and it is available both in print [KFM1799.B5 A1 2000] and online.  In addition to 31 numbered articles, there are three topical articles:  Building, Fire & Related Codes, the Health Code, and the Zoning Code.  The Building, Fire and Related Codes article contains the Baltimore City adaptions of the uniform codes/standards published by the International Code Council .  The most current Baltimore City Code can be found online at:

Proposed Baltimore City legislation can be found in the bills introduced in City Council and finally signed by the Mayor.  But watch the numbers!  Introduced legislation is called a bill and it is given a BILL number upon introduction.  Once a bill has gone through the legislative process and is signed by the Mayor, it becomes an ordinance and the number changes. For example, Ord. 09-01 is the first bill signed into law in 2009.  These numbering systems are different and do not overlap.  Thurgood Marshall Law Library owns print copies of the Baltimore City Ordinances from 1803 to 1999 [KFM B5 B3].  Ordinances covering the years 1803 to 1907 are shelved in the Brune Room. Later years  (1908-1999) are located in stack #282 in the general collection.  Current Baltimore City Ordinances can also be found on the the City Council web page.  Click the Legislation link at the top of the screen and select "search legislation".  You can search by words, sponsor, controlling body or by the ID number. The ID number is usually the bill number. Once you do the search you have access to the Legislative File and legislative histories. Information on bills covers 2000 to the present.  The Baltimore City Archives has scanned older Ordinances and Resolutions and these scanned volumes cover the years 1797-1922.

The Code of Public Local Laws of Baltimore City (Art. 4 of the Code of Public Local Laws of Maryland) contains laws passed by the Maryland General Assembly that apply only to Baltimore City.  The most recent edition is 1979 with periodic supplements [KFM1799.B5 B5 1979].  An up to date electronic version date 2017 is available at: .

Rules of City Council of Baltimore City are posted on the Baltimore City Legislative Reference Web Page .  These Rules were adopted on December 8, 2016 and cover the 2016-2020 Council session.

Also online is the Baltimore City Calendar.  This site includes Council Meeting Agendas.


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