A bill being introduced in Washington is aimed at making it easier for people to get mental health services, and a Bay area lawmaker is playing a role in creating the bill.

Republican Congressman Rich Nugent of Spring Hill teamed up with Minnesota Democratic Sen. Al Franken to create the "Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Act."

The bi-partisan bill created by the unlikely pairing is designed to give law enforcement more tools and more training to deal with mental health patients.

The bill also is aimed at improving the way the legal system handles people with mental problems.  The House bill was introduced Wednesday, and the Senate version is expected soon.

Nugent, a former Hernando County sheriff, was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2010.  Nugent currently represents the 11th District, which covers Citrus, Hernado, and Sumter counties, as well as parts of Marion and Lake County.