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Olympia Correspondent

Austin Jenkins

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. 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.

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Recent Articles


Inslee Calls Second Special Session Of Washington Legislature

Northwest News Network | May 28, 2015 5:51 p.m.

As promised, Washington Governor Jay Inslee has called an immediate second special session of the legislature. It begins Friday.


To Raise Or Not To Raise Taxes: A Statehouse Agony

Northwest News Network | May 28, 2015 3:23 p.m.

To raise or not to raise taxes? That is the question that's pushing Washington lawmakers into a second 30-day special session.


Washington Lawmakers Will Return For Second Special Session

Northwest News Network | May 27, 2015 4:07 p.m.

Washington lawmakers will have to return for a second 30-day special session. The first overtime session ends Thursday and the House and Senate still...


Feds: Troy Kelley Paid Law Firm $900K Out Of Funds In Question

Northwest News Network | May 27, 2015 6:55 a.m.

Federal prosecutors allege indicted Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley paid his defense attorney out of a pot of money that's central to his tax...


Washington Prisons Secretary Says No Plans To Ship Inmates Out-Of-State

Northwest News Network | May 26, 2015 5:52 p.m.

The Washington state Department of Corrections has contracted with The GEO Group, Inc, a Florida-based private prison company, to house up to 1,000...


Police Release 911 Call, Video From Shoplifting That Preceded Officer Shooting

Northwest News Network | May 22, 2015 4:27 p.m.

Police released surveillance video and the 911 call Friday from a shoplifting that preceded a police shooting in Olympia, Washington.


Half-Brothers Shot By Olympia Police Officer Expected To Survive

Northwest News Network | May 22, 2015 4:22 p.m.

The two, unarmed black men shot by a white Olympia police officer early Thursday morning are expected to survive.


Clock Running Out On Washington 30-Day Special Session

Northwest News Network | May 22, 2015 3:23 p.m.

The clock runs out Thursday on Washington's 30-day special session of the legislature. There are indications the pace of budget negotiations has picked...


Olympia Mayor Hopes For 'Respectful' Response To Police Shooting

Northwest News Network | May 21, 2015 3:12 p.m.

Olympia Mayor Stephen Buxbaum said Thursday he wants his city to model "respectful" dialog in the wake of a police shooting that put two unarmed black...


Construction Cranes A Towering Sign Of Economic Recovery

Northwest News Network | May 20, 2015 4:55 p.m.

According to numbers out Wednesday, the number of people out of work and looking for jobs is returning to pre-recession levels in the Northwest.


Inslee Says $1.4 Billion Tax Package No Longer Needed

Northwest News Network | May 19, 2015 4:21 p.m.

One day after the state got a favorable revenue forecast, Washington Governor Jay Inslee said he no longer believes the $1.4 billion tax package he...


Mental Health Funding A Key Issue For Washington Budget Writers

Northwest News Network | May 18, 2015 5:57 p.m.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee has signed several new mental health laws in recent days. The question is whether they will be funded.


Marijuana, Real Estate Boost Washington Revenue Forecast

Northwest News Network | May 18, 2015 4:49 p.m.

Marijuana sales and a recovering housing market should help boost Washington tax collections by more than $300 million over the next two years.


After 7 Months In Jail, Washington Man Found Not Competent For Trial

Northwest News Network | May 17, 2015 11:03 p.m.

Mentally ill inmates continue to languish in Washington jails despite a recent federal judge's ruling that the practice is unconstitutional.


Washington Lawmakers Hope For Good News In Early Revenue Forecast

Northwest News Network | May 15, 2015 2:27 p.m.

Washington's 30-day special session is more than half over and there is still no sign of a budget deal.


'Joel's Law' Signed Allowing Families To Petition For Involuntary Commitment

Northwest News Network | May 14, 2015 7:04 p.m.

It's been nearly two years since Joel Reuter fired a pistol from his condo balcony and was shot to death by Seattle police. Thursday, Governor Jay...


New Washington Law To Require Health Insurance Companies To Report Claims

Northwest News Network | May 14, 2015 3:55 p.m.

By 2018, the state of Washington should have a treasure trove of data on the cost and quality of health care.


Washington Lawmakers Take Heat After Commission Approves 11 Percent Pay Raise

Northwest News Network | May 14, 2015 2:52 p.m.

Washington lawmakers are taking heat for an 11 percent pay raise they didn't ask for.


Former Washington Auditor Says Kelley Should Be Impeached

Northwest News Network | May 13, 2015 4:26 p.m.

Washington Speaker of the House Frank Chopp said "now is not the time" to try to impeach indicted State Auditor Troy Kelley and that it would be a...


Despite Past Allegations Of Misdeeds, Kelley Ran For Washington State Auditor

Northwest News Network | May 13, 2015 1:27 p.m.

Why would someone who had been accused of financial misdeeds run for political office? That's a recurring question in the case of indicted Washington...