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.

Ways to Connect

Colin Fogarty / Northwest News Network

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee will spend the next few days focused on trade with Canada and Mexico. Thursday he will meet in Seattle with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. After that Inslee leaves on a trade mission to Mexico.

Kevin Mooney / Northwest News Network

A trio of measures Gov. Jay Inslee will sign into law Tuesday aims to make roads in Washington state safer. They include a new ban on using electronics behind the wheel.

Campaign photos

Monday marks the start of candidate filing week in Washington state. It’s the week when people running for public office must file with the secretary of state’s office. But one political contest is already underway in a big way.

Seattle University School of Law

On Saturday a former Washington state prison inmate will graduate magna cum laude from Seattle University School of Law. But her criminal record may prevent her from practicing law as a licensed attorney.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Gun dealers in Washington state will soon be required to report when someone tries to buy a gun and fails a background check. Gov. Jay Inslee signed that requirement into law Wednesday as part of a crackdown on prohibited gun buyers. 


Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

The halfway mark has come and gone in Washington’s 30-day special session of the legislature. But there’s still no deal on a budget or a school funding solution.

U.S. Department of Energy

The U.S. Department of Energy issued an emergency alert Tuesday morning at the Hanford site north of Richland, Washington, after a tunnel at a radioactive cleanup site caved in. Workers at a former chemical processing plant were evacuated and thousands more across Hanford were directed to take shelter indoors.

State and federal officials said all workers were accounted for, there were no injuries and no indication of “release” of radioactivity into the environment. By early afternoon, the employees taking shelter were given permission to go home except those needed for emergency response.

Washington State Patrol

The Washington State Patrol has agreed to a $15 million settlement in a class action lawsuit over the hiring and promotion of military veterans. The case involves troopers and trooper applicants who did not receive preference points for their service in the military as mandated by state law.

Washington Department of Corrections

A Washington state prison inmate was accidentally held three-and-a-half years beyond his release date. The error was discovered last month. This follows the mistaken early release of nearly 3,000 Washington inmates over a 13-year period.

Inslee/Brown office / Flickr

The Democratic governors of Washington and Oregon are condemning the Republican vote in the U.S. Congress to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

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