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."


Government and Politics
4:32 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

PACs Face Quirk In Washington Law Before They Can Spend Money

File photo of climate activist Tom Steyer
Credit Wikimedia

California billionaire Tom Steyer is poised to help Democrats try to win back control of the Washington Senate.

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Government and Politics
3:24 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Washington Lt. Governor Agrees To $15K Ethics Fine

Washington Lt. Gov. Brad Owen
Credit Office of the Lieutenant Governor

Washington Lt. Gov. Brad Owen has agreed to a $15,000 ethics fine. The settlement announced Friday stemmed from the five-term Democrat’s use of state resources to operate a non-profit with his wife.

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Crime, Law and Justice
3:06 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

Washington Regulators Shut Down Party Bus Company

File photo of the interior of a party bus
Credit Barry Dadon / Wikimedia

Washington regulators are continuing their crackdown on the party bus industry. The state’s Utilities and Transportation Commission announced Wednesday that it’s shutting down a company that stranded a group of prom-goers.

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Crime, Law and Justice
5:14 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

Washington Supreme Court Weighs New Trial For Accomplice In Lakewood Police Shootings

Attorney Gregory Link makes the case for a new trial for Dorcus Allen in front of the Washington Supreme Court.
Credit Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

The getaway driver in the murders of four Lakewood, Washington police officers is seeking a new trial. The case has made it to the Washington Supreme Court and Tuesday the justices heard arguments.

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Government and Politics
4:20 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

Washington Supreme Court Grants 120-Day Stay In Psychiatric Boarding Ruling

File photo of the Washington Supreme Court chambers.
Credit Washington Supreme Court

The state of Washington now has until the end of the year to stop “boarding” mental health patients in non-psychiatric hospital beds.

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Government and Politics
4:00 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Inslee Scolds Legislature On School Funding, But Cautions Court On Sanctions

Washington Governor Jay Inslee speaks to reporters at a Capitol news conference Thursday, September 4.
Credit Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Washington Governor Jay Inslee says the legislature has not “acted appropriately” in the face of the McCleary decision on school funding. But he cautioned the state Supreme Court Thursday not to impose sanctions that would penalize other areas of state government.

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Government and Politics
4:58 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

Washington Justices Weigh Contempt, Sanctions Against State

Members of the McCleary family, who sued the state of Washington over school funding, answer questions from the media on the steps of the Washington Supreme Court.
Credit Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

  The Washington Supreme Court has heard the arguments. Now it must decide whether to hold the state in contempt for failing to submit a complete plan to fully fund schools.

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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 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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