The final decision over Michigan’s controversial emergency manager law will be left up to the courts, after a referendum seeking to repeal the law failed to make it onto the November ballot.

The emergency manager law gives the state the power to control the finances of struggling cities by installing an individual with broad powers, including the ability to render collective bargaining agreements and unions powerless. Detroit avoided the naming of an emergency manager when it recently reached an agreement with the state following an ugly dispute over its budget.

The referendum measure failed due to a deadlock vote from the Board of State Canvassers. The two Democratic appointees voted to place the referendum on the ballot, while the two Republican appointees voted to leave it off.

According to reports, after the vote, many who support the repeal of the law erupted in anger. Stand Up for Democracy, a group that collected 226,000 signatures in an effort to repeal the law, said the installation of emergency managers is simply a ploy for Republican politicians to have complete control over the state.

“Michigan already had a law in place, a law used by both Republican and Democratic governors, that allowed the appointment of officials to help bring communities and school districts in financial trouble back to solid ground,” a statement from the group read. “It was working, but now the power-hungry Governor and other politicians rammed a new law through that gave politically appointed managers unprecedented powers to cancel collective bargaining, privatize services, and strip power from local elected officials.”

Herb Sanders, attorney for the group, has vowed to file a lawsuit to get the issue on the ballot.