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Olympia Correspondent, Northwest News Network

Austin Jenkins

Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network.

Since 2004, Austin has covered Northwest politics and public policy as well as the Washington state Legislature. He also host of TVW's 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’s 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 a graduate of Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut.

Contact Austin Jenkins

Recent Articles

local | Politics | News

Child Under 2? Washington GOP Plan Would Let Parents On Welfare Delay Work Requirement

Northwest News Network | March 22, 2017 8 p.m.

Washington Senate Republicans are looking for ways to save money on state subsidized child care for low-income families. And they think they’ve found a way.

local | Politics

Washington Senate Republicans Unveil Budget, Democrats Cry Foul

Northwest News Network | March 22, 2017 8 p.m.

Washington Senate Republicans have proposed a $5 billion increase in state spending over the next two years, including $1.8 billion more for public schools in an attempt to satisfy a Supreme Court ruling that found the state is not adequately funding K-12 education.

local | Politics | News

Washington State Legislature To Begin Work On New Budget

Northwest News Network | March 19, 2017 5:46 p.m.

Washington’s 105-day legislative session is more than half over. But the big job of negotiating a new two-year state budget has yet to begin.

local | Health | Politics | News

Inslee Calls Republican Healthcare Plan 'Disaster For Washington'

Northwest News Network | March 15, 2017 4:45 p.m. | Olympia, Washington

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is calling the Republican healthcare plan in Congress “a disaster.” Inslee made his comments Wednesday as new projections on the impact to the state were released.


Washington Businesses Slam Carbon Tax

Northwest News Network | March 14, 2017 7:15 p.m.

During a public hearing Tuesday, businesses said a proposed carbon tax in Washington state would cost jobs and hurt the state's economy.

Business | Energy | Environment | Economy | News | Climate change | local

Carbon Tax Floated As Possible Replacement To Inslee's 'Clean Air Rule'

Northwest News Network | March 14, 2017 6:15 a.m.

Polluting industries in Washington state don't like Gov. Jay Inslee's cap on carbon emissions — and they don't think it's legal.


Gun Rights Lobby Declares Victory In Olympia

Northwest News Network | March 10, 2017 6:30 p.m.

Gun rights advocates are declaring victory after several firearms-related measures failed to advance in the Washington Legislature.

Technology | local | Politics | News

Lobbying Frenzy Over Access To Washington State Infrastructure For Small Cell Technology

Northwest News Network | March 9, 2017 7:27 p.m.

Wireless carriers are pushing legislation in Washington state to give them access to power poles, street lights and other public infrastructure for placement of the small antennas.

local | Education | News

Delay In School Districts 'Levy Cliff' Headed To Gov. Jay Inslee's Desk

Northwest News Network | March 9, 2017 6:15 p.m.

Washington state school districts will not go over the so-called “levy cliff.” At least not next year.

local | Politics

Washington Gov. Inslee Calls New Trump Executive Order A 'Retreat'

Northwest News Network | March 6, 2017 6:15 p.m.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee says the fact Trump rescinded his previous travel ban Monday represents a “victory.”

local | Politics | News

Washington House Passes Crackdown On Prohibited Gun Buyers

Northwest News Network | March 3, 2017 5:13 p.m. | Olympia, Washington

Washington state lawmakers voted 84 to 13 vote Friday to require gun dealers to alert the State Patrol when someone fails a background check to buy a gun.

local | News

Washington House Passes Protections For Sick Hanford Workers

Northwest News Network | March 2, 2017 7:45 p.m.

The Washington state House has voted to give added protections to sick workers at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

Nation | local | Health | Politics | News

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee 'More Concerned' After Meeting Trump In Person

Northwest News Network | Feb. 27, 2017 3 p.m.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee used words like “shocked” and “troubled” after attending events with President Donald Trump and members of his administration in Washington, D.C., in recent days.

local | Politics | News

Plane That Flies Washington Governor Doubles As 'Con Air'

Northwest News Network | Feb. 27, 2017 12:05 p.m.

Records show that between January of 2013 and September of 2016, the Washington Department of Corrections used State Patrol planes nine times to transport 14 inmates.

local | Politics | News

Washington Police Deadly Force Bill Falters, Sponsor Not Giving Up

Northwest News Network | Feb. 24, 2017 5:39 p.m.

Currently, Washington state law protects police officers who use deadly force in good faith and without malice, making it virtually impossible to charge an officer with improper use of deadly force.

Nation | local | News

Gov. Jay Inslee Says Washington Won't Aid 'Mean-Spirited Policies' On Immigration

Northwest News Network | Feb. 23, 2017 5:45 p.m.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed an executive order Thursday in response to President Donald Trumps crackdown on undocumented immigrants.

local | Politics | News

Washington Senator Calls Trump Immigration Policy 'Very Wrongheaded'

Northwest News Network | Feb. 22, 2017 3:34 p.m. | Olympia, Washington

This week, Trumps Department of Homeland Security announced an aggressive plan to deport people who are in the United States illegally and who run...

local | News

Washington Lawmaker Predicts Police Deadly Force Law Will Change This Year

Northwest News Network | Feb. 18, 2017 7:30 a.m.

Washington prosecutors say state law makes it nearly impossible to criminally charge a police officer who uses deadly force. Now a key state lawmaker predicts that law will change this year.

local | Environment

Former Washington State Senator 'Very Excited' About Pruitt Confirmation To Head EPA

Northwest News Network | Feb. 17, 2017 4:30 p.m.

Former Washington state Sen. Don Benton said he’s “very excited” about the confirmation of Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency.

local | Politics | News

Ethics Board Fines Washington Legislator For Posting Taxpayer-Funded Videos On Facebook

Northwest News Network | Feb. 17, 2017 3:30 p.m.

Washington’s Legislative Ethics Board has fined state Rep. Melanie Stambaugh $5,000 for posting taxpayer funded videos and photos to a campaign-related Facebook page.