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. He regularly files stories for NPR News. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

Prior to joining the Northwest News Network, Austin was a freelance general assignment reporter at KING–TV, the NBC affiliate in Seattle. He also worked as a freelance education reporter for KPLU–FM, the Tacoma–based NPR station. Austin spent 2001 in Washington, D.C. as a Knight Foundation/American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow. Austin has also worked as a television reporter in Portland, Oregon; Boise, Idaho; Casper, Wyoming; and Bozeman, Montana. Austin is a graduate of Garfield High School in Seattle and has a B.A. in Government from Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut.

Over the years Austin has won numerous professional awards for his reporting. He lives in Olympia with his wife Jennifer Huntley and their two children.

Read Austin's blog, "The Washington Ledge: Dispatches From Olympia."

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Education and Training
3:36 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Washington Supreme Court To Hold Contempt Hearing On Wednesday

Attorney Tom Ahearne represents the coalition that sued the state of Washington over school funding. He wants the Supreme Court to find the state in contempt.
Credit Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

The state of Washington will go before the state Supreme Court Wednesday, September 3 to explain why it should not be held in contempt.

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Government and Politics
5:24 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Big Checks From Special Interests Flow To Legislative Caucus PACs In Washington

Longtime state Senator Tim Sheldon is a political target this year after the maverick Democrat joined with Republicans to help them take control of the Washington Senate.
Credit Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

This November’s election will decide who controls the Washington state Senate. Democrats are desperate to win back the majority while a mostly-Republican coalition, that took power last year, is determined to hold on.

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Government and Politics
4:24 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Nearly $9 Million And Counting For Washington Fall Ballot Measures

Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct the aggregate amount of money raised by the campaigns.

Washington’s November election will decide three statewide ballot measures. So far, nearly $9 million has flowed to these campaigns. And it’s still early.

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Health and Medicine
4:53 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Washington Supreme Court Puts Hospital Boarding Decision On Hold

File photo of The Temple of Justice in Olympia, Washington
Credit Aidan Wakely-Mulroney / Flickr

The state of Washington will not have to start discharging severely mentally ill patients starting this week. The Supreme Court Monday put a hold on a recent ruling that says it’s illegal for the state to “board” psychiatric patients in non-psychiatric hospital beds.

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Health and Medicine
8:01 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Washington Seeks Emergency Stay On Psychiatric Boarding Ruling

File photo
Credit Taber Andrew Bain / Flickr

The Washington Supreme Court recently ruled it’s illegal for the state to “board” mental health patients in emergency rooms and regular hospital beds.

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Government and Politics
7:33 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Federal Judge: Yakima Election System Disenfranchises Latino Voters

File photo. More than four in 10 residents in Yakima are Hispanic, but Sonia Rodriguez True still lost her race for city council in 2009.
Credit Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

A federal judge has ruled that the way city council members are elected in Yakima, Washington, disenfranchises Latino voters.

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Crime, Law and Justice
5:25 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Washington Supreme Court Sets Standard For Post-Conviction DNA Testing

File of the Temple of Justice in Olympia, Washington.
Credit Cacophony / Wikimedia

Washington’s Supreme Court may have just made it easier for prison inmates to try to get their convictions overturned through DNA testing.

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Crime, Law and Justice
3:37 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Amid Legal Pot, The Search Continues For Illegal Grows

File photo of 'guerrilla' cultivation of cannabis
Credit Wikimedia

Legal marijuana grows are just getting started in Washington state. But it’s the illegal ones that local, state and federal agents are searching out this month.

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Government and Politics
5:20 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Washington Ethics Board Settles On 12 Lobbyist-Paid Meals Per Year

Credit Cacophony / Wikimedia

Washington’s Legislative Ethics Board voted Tuesday to allow lawmakers to accept a dozen lobbyist-paid meals per year, but no more.

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Government and Politics
3:22 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Washington Legislative Ethics Panel To Consider Free Meals Rule

File photo of the Washington State Capitol building in Olympia.
Credit Colin Fogarty / Northwest News Network

Washington law allows lawmakers to accept gifts of food and drink on infrequent occasions. But that word “infrequent” has never been defined.

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