Austin Jenkins

Olympia Correspondent

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy as well as the Washington State legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia." Prior to joining the Northwest News Network, Austin worked as a television reporter in Seattle, Portland and Boise. Austin is a graduate of Garfield High School in Seattle and Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut. His reporting has been recognized with awards from the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors, Public Radio News Directors Incorporated and the Society of Professional Journalists. Austin is the recipient of the 2016 Excellence in Journalism Award from the Washington State Association for Justice.

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Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Former Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley is seeking to have his conviction for possession of stolen money overturned or, alternatively, granted a new trial.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Three years ago, Betsy Deane's son was killed in an automobile accident. Now, the Pasco, Washington, grandmother hopes a new state law will allow her to reunite with the granddaughter she hasn’t been able to see since.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Wednesday signed into law several measures aimed at addressing sexual harassment in the workplace. They include a prohibition on non-disclosure agreements that silence victims of harassment or assault.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has signed into law four bills aimed at expanding access to voting. They include a new state Voting Rights Act.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Sixteen and 17-year-olds will soon be able to pre-register to vote in Washington. That’s just one of several voting-related bills the governor is scheduled to sign into law Monday.

Washington Employment Security Department

Washington Employment Security Department Commissioner Dale ​Peinecke is resigning following a workplace investigation into allegations he behaved inappropriately toward women on his staff.

Washington Legislature

Several efforts to protect sexual assault victims failed to pass in Washington’s 60-day legislative session which adjourned last Thursday. Now lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are expressing frustration.

Cacophony / Wikimedia -

Shortly after the final gavels fell Thursday night on Washington’s 2018 legislative session, Gov. Jay Inslee stepped before a smattering of reporters and cameras gathered in his conference room and touted “a long list of accomplishments” over the 60 day session.


UPDATE: Washington state lawmakers adjourned Thursday night after a short, 60-day election year session during which Democrats flexed their new one-party control to pass a slew of legislation. Here’s a look at some of the bills that passed and some that didn’t.  (Note: some of these bills have already been signed into law by the governor, others await his signature.) 

Brianhe / Wikimedia -

Washington homeowners would get some property tax relief in 2019 under a bill that passed the Democratically-controlled Washington state Senate on Wednesday evening over Republican objections. The bill is part of a final budget deal reached with the House as the Legislature heads toward a scheduled adjournment on Thursday.