Reforms in local government often follow decisions that are taken by central governments. To initiate these changes, law is the most important mechanism. This article analyzes the different regulative strategies legislators can apply in this context. Since local governments have a variety of options at hand to resist orders for change, a strict steering approach is not necessarily the most promising mechanism. Contrariwise, to play a purely enabling role might not be a satisfactory option for central governments that want to express their commitment to a multilevel reform agenda.