Washington Ledge

Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Washington Legislature.Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

 

Campaign photos

Candidates are breaking spending records in a special election that will decide which party controls the Washington Senate.

Republican Jinyoung Englund and Democrat Manka Dhingra are vying to fill an open state Senate seat in Washington’s 45th legislative district which stretches from Kirkland to Duvall.

Campaign photos

With Election Day less than a month away, money is pouring into Washington state political action committees. Much of that cash will likely find its way to a special state Senate race on the east side of Lake Washington.

The outcome of that race will determine which party controls the Senate. 


Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

In the living room of her Olympia home, Crystal opens up a large file box that contains her son’s life history.

“As a mom you keep those shot records and those test scores in their little file even if they’re in their 20s,” said Crystal, whose last name we’re not using to protect her son's identity.

But this plastic box has something else: a detailed record of her son’s battle with addiction and mental illness beginning when he was 12.

Mike Bay / TVW

In 2008, Christopher Poulos went to federal prison for dealing cocaine in his home state of Maine. Today, he’s a licensed lawyer who’s been hired to lead Washington’s effort to help prison inmates transition back into society.

Seattle Municipal Archives - tinyurl.com/ya8mlcgm / Cacophony - tinyurl.com/y9spfgg2

Washington’s economic climate is the fourth best in the nation. That’s according to a new report by produced by Washington’s Economic and Revenue Forecast Council.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

On a recent Wednesday morning, Denise Vermillion stood outside the Thurston County Courthouse and expressed the frustration that had been building inside her for days.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Efforts to turnaround Washington’s troubled Western State Hospital are taking longer than expected. The federal government this week granted yet another extension to give the state’s largest mental hospital more time to fix systemic problems.

glasgows / Flickr - tinyurl.com/h5s37yu

In 2014, Washington voters approved Initiative 594 to require background checks for person-to-person gun sales. But the law has only resulted in two prosecutions.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Did Washington’s prepaid Guaranteed Education Tuition program give VIP service to state lawmakers with accounts?

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear a challenge Monday to Washington’s voter-approved background check law for person-to-person gun transfers.

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