The Legislature finds that it is in the best interest of the citizens of West Virginia to implement the universally, free access telephone number "211" made available by the federal communications commission for states to develop an information and referral source for human and social services. The "211" system will provide a vital resource to the citizens of West Virginia for social and human service information and referral by providing a critical connection between individuals and families in need and the appropriate community-based organizations and government agencies.
The Legislature further finds that implementing the "211" information and referral system will serve as a centralized resource for human and social service professionals, medical personnel, government agencies and charitable organizations by providing a full spectrum of service options to the citizens of West Virginia. The "211" system will also serve as a centralized point in times of natural disasters or national emergencies by providing access to information for the coordination of relief.
Therefore, the Legislature authorizes and directs the Public Service Commission to implement the "211" information and referral system in accordance with the recommendations of the Public Service Commissions' appointed task force as reported to the Legislature.