The earliest the board could approve the new regulations is Aug. 17. After the board does that, the city's Law Department would have to review and approve the proposed regulation.
Because the board also decided Thursday that it would not enforce the law until 30 days after it goes into effect, lobbyists will not be required to comply until late September, and possibly even later.
Shane Creamer, executive director of the Board of Ethics, said the board intended the 30 days to act as a "safe harbor" so that those affected by the regulations would have time to read and understand them.
The board's decision Thursday followed a civil lawsuit filed last week in Common Pleas Court by the Philadelphia Bar Association that claimed the law was too broad and would require lawyers and others to report such activities as filing for a zoning permit or asking questions about paying a delinquent tax bill.
Creamer said the board's decision "certainly addresses concerns raised in litigation but is not directly in response to the litigation."
Philadelphia Bar Association chancellor Rudolph Garcia said his group dropped its lawsuit in response to the board's decision.
Garcia said the bar association still believes the law is too broad but hopes the delay will allow time for the Board of Ethics to write the regulations so that they deal with lobbying only and not "the practice of law."
Ellen Mattleman Kaplan, vice president of the watchdog group Committee of Seventy, said the board's decision would give it time to make sure the regulations were not ambiguous.
"I think it was both a sensible and prudent step by the Board of Ethics," she said.
The law was supposed to have gone into effect July 1, but last month, the board decided to postpone that because it was waiting for a computerized system that could manage the new registration rules.
Contact staff writer Miriam Hill at 215-854-5520 or firstname.lastname@example.org.