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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

Education | News | local | Politics

Washington Special Session Winding Down With No Budget Deal

Northwest News Network | May 22, 2017 8:30 a.m.

Washington’s 30-day special session of the legislature ends Tuesday. But there’s still no sign of a budget deal or a plan to fully fund education. 

News | World | local | Politics

Washington Governor To Meet Canadian PM, Then Depart On Trade Mission To Mexico

Northwest News Network | May 18, 2017 7:15 a.m.

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.

News | local | NW Life

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee To Sign Distracted Driving And DUI Bills

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

A trio of measures Gov. Jay Inslee will sign into law Tuesday aims to make roads in Washington state safer. 

local | Politics

As Candidate Filing Week Begins, Race For Control Of Washington Senate Heats Up

Northwest News Network | May 12, 2017 6 p.m.

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.

News | local | Politics

'Lie And Try' To Buy A Gun, Washington Police And Victims Will Now Get Notification

Northwest News Network | May 10, 2017 5:16 p.m.

Gun dealers in Washington state will soon be required to report when someone tries to buy a gun and fails a background check.

News | local | Politics

Still No Budget Deal Halfway Through Washington's Special Session

Northwest News Network | May 9, 2017 2:42 p.m.

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.

News | local

Washington Inmate Held 3 1/2 Years Past Release Date

Northwest News Network | May 7, 2017 1:45 p.m.

A Washington state prison inmate was accidentally held 3 1/2 years beyond his release date. The error was discovered last month.


Business Groups Target House Majority Leader Over Support Of Tax Plan In Olympia

Northwest News Network | May 2, 2017 6:45 p.m.

It’s a bold move by Washington Realtors and other business groups. They’re taking on the number two Democrat in the Washington House with a TV ad that accuses him of “squeezing” taxpayers.


Lawmakers Dip Into Leftover Campaign Funds For Travel, Furniture, Clothes

Northwest News Network | May 1, 2017 7:15 p.m.

Records show that since Election Day more than a dozen Washington state lawmakers have dipped into leftover campaign cash for pay for everything from cellphones to meals out to travel.


Austrian Trades Career As Doctor For Washington State Patrol Trooper

Northwest News Network | April 26, 2017 6:15 p.m.

Forty-nine new Washington State Patrol troopers were sworn-in Wednesday at a ceremony in the Capitol rotunda. Among the troopers in formation was Robert Reyer of Salzburg, Austria. 

News | local | Politics

After Early Release Scandal, Washington Governor Appoints Agency Veteran To Lead Corrections

Northwest News Network | April 25, 2017 3:06 p.m.

Washington state has a new secretary of Corrections. Stephen Sinclair has been with the department for 28 years. Most recently he was in charge of the...

Education | local | Politics

Washington State Lawmakers At Odds Over School Funding

Northwest News Network | April 18, 2017 6:15 p.m.

Washington state Senate Republicans and House Democrats are at loggerheads over how to fund schools.

Education | News | local | Politics

Washington Lawmakers Once Again Unlikely To Finish Work On Time

Northwest News Network | April 18, 2017 7:45 a.m.

In what has become the new normal, Washington state lawmakers are expected to go into an overtime session because they've been unable to agree on a state operating budget.

News | local | Politics

Crackdown On Prohibited Gun Buyers Dies In Washington Senate

Northwest News Network | April 13, 2017 4:57 p.m. | Olympia, Washington

The bipartisan proposal failed to get a vote before a key deadline this week.

News | local | Politics

Bill To Change Washington Police Deadly Force Law Falters, Fight Not Over

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

Washington has one of the highest bars in the nation for charging police officers who use deadly force. They are protected as long as they act in good faith and without malice.


Washington Lawmakers Approve Strict Limits For Electronics Use Behind The Wheel

Northwest News Network | April 12, 2017 6:45 p.m.

Current Washington law bans texting behind the wheel. But it allows drivers to hold their phone in one hand and drive with the other, as long as the phone isn’t held up to the ear.

News | local | Politics

Injured Washington Rail Worker Hopeful For New Safety Rules After 5 Years

Northwest News Network | April 11, 2017 4:57 p.m. | Olympia, Washington

It's taken five years, but injured railroad worker Dwight Hauck sees victory at hand. Washington lawmakers are on the verge of requiring new safety...

Technology | News | Election | local | Nation | Politics | Business

Wireless Industry Lobbies Statehouses For Access To 'Street Furniture'

Northwest News Network | April 11, 2017 8:45 a.m.

Instead of soaring towers with antennas on top, future cell sites will adorn power poles and streetlights.

Education | News | local | Politics | Business

Time Running Out For Washington Lawmakers To Get Budget Deal

Northwest News Network | April 11, 2017 7:30 a.m. | Olympia, Washington

Time is running out for Washington lawmakers to negotiate a state budget that complies with a Supreme Court ruling to fully fund schools.

Education | News | local | Politics

Washington Legislative Leaders Won't Release Records Related To Education Funding Fix

Northwest News Network | April 3, 2017 2:38 p.m. | Olympia, Washington

Washington lawmakers are working this year to craft a solution to the state's school funding crisis. Much of their work is happening behind the scenes...