At the start of today’s Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) open meeting, Chairman Donna Nelson announced that May 15, 2017 will be her final day at the commission. This is a month before she was speculated to be leaving the commission. In order to fill her vacant space, the Governor must appoint a replacement.
While the Texas Legislature is in session, the governor’s appointment must be approved by the legislature. However, the governor can choose to wait and appoint a replacement once the legislative session ends on May 29th in order to avoid confirmation of the appointment during the 2017 session.
This will likely mean that the PUCT will be presided over by two members in the interim, with the potential for the commission to reach split decisions in contested cases.