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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 | 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.

Environment | local

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.

local | Politics | News

Prohibited Gun Buyers Get A Pass In Washington, But Not In Oregon

Northwest News Network | Feb. 16, 2017 7:45 a.m.

When a convicted felon, domestic abuser or fugitive tries to buy a gun in Oregon and is denied after a background check, a state trooper comes calling. Sometimes it leads to an arrest and prosecution. But when this happens in Washington, it’s a different story.


Washington Attorney General Says He's Prepared To Sue Trump Again

Northwest News Network | Feb. 15, 2017 7 p.m.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson predicts future legal battles with President Donald Trump.

local | News

Death Penalty Repeal Will Get Hearing, No Vote In Washington Legislature

Northwest News Network | Feb. 14, 2017 5:45 p.m.

A bipartisan proposal to repeal the death penalty in Washington state will get a hearing Wednesday morning. But the Democratic chair of the House Judiciary Committee said there’s no plan to hold a vote on the measure.

Nation | local | Politics | News

Washington State Senator Concerned For 'Dreamers' Future Under Trump

Northwest News Network | Feb. 13, 2017 4:02 p.m.

Sen. Barbara Bailey made headlines in 2014 when she sponsored the so-called “Real Hope Act.” It allows high school graduates whose parents brought them to this country illegally to qualify for state financial aid.

local | Politics | News

The Political History Behind Washington State's Fight Against Trump

Northwest News Network | Feb. 12, 2017 4:15 p.m.

When President Donald Trump signed an executive order on immigration and refugees last month, it was Washington state that led the legal battle to overturn it. Now, after a string of court rulings, it appears that the fight could be heading all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Politics | News

'OPB Politics Now': Washington State's Resistance To Trump

OPB | Feb. 10, 2017 10:45 a.m.

How did Washington state emerge as the center for the resistance to Donald Trump's agenda?

Nation | local | Politics | News

'We Beat You': Northwest Leaders Cheer Court Ruling On Travel Ban

OPB | Feb. 9, 2017 5:26 p.m. | Portland

“I just saw a tweet from the president,” Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said. “He said ‘see you in court.’ Well, Mr. President, we just saw you in court and we beat you."

local | Politics | News

Victims Plead For Investigation, Notification Of Attempted Gun Purchases

Northwest News Network | Feb. 8, 2017 5:08 p.m.

A bipartisan proposal to crack down on prohibited gun buyers would require gun dealers to notify the Washington State Patrol when someone fails a background check for a gun purchase.

Nation | local | Politics

The Attorney General Behind The Resistance To Trump's Travel Ban

Northwest News Network | Feb. 7, 2017 4:02 p.m.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson's lawsuit has led to a temporary halt of the Trump administration's ban on travelers from seven majority-Muslim countries.

Nation | local | Politics | News

Former Secretaries Of State Get Behind Washington State Lawsuit Against Trump

Northwest News Network | Feb. 6, 2017 7:30 p.m.

First it was companies like Amazon and Expedia. Now Washington state’s lawsuit against President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration has the support of former top U.S. officials.

local | News

On Anniversary Of School Shooting, Victim's Sister Has Plea For Lawmakers

Northwest News Network | Feb. 1, 2017 6:15 p.m.

To mark the 21st anniversary of a deadly school shooting in Moses Lake, Washington, the sister of one of the victims plans to ask state lawmakers to make it crime to not safely store guns

Nation | local | Election | Politics | News

New Role For Washington Governor? President Trump Foil

Northwest News Network | Jan. 30, 2017 1:23 p.m. | Olympia, Washington

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee seems to have a new part-time job: foil to President Donald Trump. And it’s getting him lots of attention, including mentions on Facebook and in the national media.

Economy | local | Education | Politics

Washington GOP School Funding Plan: Raise State Property Tax, Lower Local Levies

Northwest News Network | Jan. 27, 2017 4:30 p.m.

Republicans in the Washington state Senate are proposing to solve the state’s school funding crisis by raising the state property tax while lowering local rates.

Nation | local | Politics | News

Washington State Senator Resigns To Take Job With Trump Administration

Northwest News Network | Jan. 24, 2017 3:15 p.m.

Sen. Brian Dansel announced his resignation Tuesday leaving the Washington Senate in a temporary political tie.

NW Life | local | Education | News

Suspending And Expelling Kindergartners? It Happens

Northwest News Network | Jan. 23, 2017 8 p.m.

Parents have begged a panel of Washington lawmakers to ban suspensions for the youngest students.

local | Politics | News

Washington Lawmakers Propose Crackdown On 'Lie And Try' Gun Purchases

Northwest News Network | Jan. 22, 2017 2:45 p.m.

Often in Washington, someone who isn’t allowed to own a gun tries to buy one but is denied after a background check. But even though it’s a crime to lie on a background check form, police rarely if ever investigate these cases. A new bill could change that.

Parents | Health | News | Family | local | Politics

Paid Family Leave Gains Traction With Washington Republicans

Northwest News Network | Jan. 19, 2017 2:20 p.m. | Olympia, Washington

The idea of giving workers paid time off to care for a new baby or an elderly parent has long been a priority of the left. But now the idea is gaining traction with some Republicans in the Washington Legislature.