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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

Politics | local | News

Lawmakers Hesitant On Changes To Washington's Police Deadly Force Law

Northwest News Network | Jan. 10, 2017 8:30 a.m.

Should it be easier to criminally charge police officers in Washington who use deadly force? A legislative task force said “yes” — but the vote was far from unanimous.

Politics | local | News

Washington Lawmakers Convene Amidst Partisan Sniping And Bickering Over Education Funding

Northwest News Network | Jan. 10, 2017 8:30 a.m.

The Washington Legislature convenes Monday for a 105-day budget writing session. And the political dynamic in Olympia is full of digs at President-elect Trump, partisan sniping and disagreement over how to fund education.

News | local | Education

Recriminations As Washington State School Funding Task Force Splits Along Partisan Lines

Northwest News Network | Jan. 4, 2017 7 p.m.

Washington state lawmakers face a daunting task as they convene on Monday for the 2017 legislative session: how to fully fund public schools by 2018. And that job might have just gotten harder.

Election | Politics | local | News

Women, Gen Xers Prepare To Take Statewide Office In Olympia

Northwest News Network | Dec. 21, 2016 5:08 p.m.

The face of Washington state government is about to get a makeover. Five new statewide elected officials will take office in January -- a record in modern times.

Election | Politics | local | News | Election 2016

4 Washington State Electors Break Ranks

Northwest News Network | Dec. 19, 2016 4:30 p.m.

They may not change history. But four Washington electors made history Monday when they broke ranks and voted for alternative candidates for president and vice president.

Election | Politics | local | News

$6,000 Flight To BC? Outgoing Lands Commissioner Defends Use Of Air Charters

Northwest News Network | Dec. 19, 2016 7:45 a.m.

The Washington State Patrol owns a small fleet of planes that state agencies and officials can charter. On the afternoon of Wednesday, June 8, two Washington state troopers piloted a twin engine King Air from Olympia to Vancouver, British Columbia.

Politics | Health | local | News

Washington Governor Proposes Overhaul Of State Mental Health System

Northwest News Network | Dec. 14, 2016 3:56 p.m.

The Democrat Wednesday proposed a six-year plan to downsize the state’s two mental hospitals.

Politics | local | News

9th Circuit Declines To Hear Troy Kelley's Double Jeopardy Claim

Northwest News Network | Dec. 13, 2016 5:29 p.m.

Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley has been dealt a setback by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. A three-judge panel Tuesday declined to hear Kelley’s claim of double jeopardy.

Politics | local | News

Washington State Lawmaker Defends Against Ethics Charges After Social Media Sharing

Northwest News Network | Dec. 13, 2016 5:18 p.m.

Washington's youngest state lawmaker, Republican Melanie Stambaugh, is defending herself against ethics charges related to her social media practices.

News | Politics | Health | local | Education

Washington Governor To Propose Significant Investments In Schools, Mental Health

Northwest News Network | Dec. 12, 2016 4:45 p.m.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee plans to propose significant new investments in education and mental health.

local | News

Washington State Legislation Would Alert Survivors Of Failed Gun Buyers

Northwest News Network | Dec. 9, 2016 7:19 a.m.

Typically, domestic violence survivors would never know if their abuser tried to buy a gun and was denied after a background check. A state lawmaker and a domestic violence survivor want to change that.

local | News

Corrections Secretary: Washington Sentencing So Complex, More Errors Certain

Northwest News Network | Dec. 5, 2016 5:15 p.m.

Secretary Dick Morgan called Washington’s criminal code “antiquated.”

Health | local

Dearth Of Providers, Delays In Authorizations Plague Washington's Medicaid Dental Program

Northwest News Network | Nov. 29, 2016 6 p.m.

A panel of lawmakers is set to hear about ongoing challenges to Washington state's Medicaid program.

local | News

Jail Conditions, Who's Locked Up Have Some Washington Lawmakers Concerned

Northwest News Network | Nov. 22, 2016 6:15 p.m.

Next week, a panel of Washington state lawmakers will hear from experts on ways to improve jail conditions and reduce the jail population.

Animals | NW Life | Environment | News | local

Killing Wolves That Prey On Livestock Could Become More Common In Washington State

Northwest News Network | Nov. 21, 2016 7 p.m.

Under Washington’s wolf management plan, the trigger for so-called “lethal action” is when a wolf pack attacks livestock four or more times in a year.

Politics | local | News

Report: Solitary Confinement Widely Used In Washington Jails

Northwest News Network | Nov. 16, 2016 4:38 p.m.

Disabled inmates are suffering from discrimination and isolation in Washington jails. That’s the finding of a report out Wednesday from Disability Rights Washington.

Politics | local | News

'Lie And Try' To Buy A Gun In Washington? Little Risk Of Arrest, Prosecution

Northwest News Network | Nov. 16, 2016 9:15 a.m.

What happens when someone who's not supposed to have a gun lies about their background and tries to buy one?

Election | Politics | local | News

Andy Hill Remembered As Socially Liberal, Friend To Rural Washington

Northwest News Network | Nov. 14, 2016 7:45 p.m.

Washington state Sen. Andy Hill, R-Redmond, is being remembered as a social liberal who was a friend to rural Washington.

NW Life | Politics | local | News

Republican State Senators Challenge Decision To Stop Calling Washington Prison Inmates 'Offenders'

Northwest News Network | Nov. 14, 2016 7:30 p.m.

The decision to stop calling Washington state prison inmates "offenders" is not sitting well with a group of Republican state senators.

Election | Nation | Politics | News | Election 2016

'OPB Politics Now': Election Results And The Urban/Rural Divide

OPB | Nov. 10, 2016 10:08 a.m.

In this episode, host Geoff Norcross, OPB senior political reporter Jeff Mapes and Olympia reporter Austin Jenkins wrap up the 2016 election and discuss the role of the urban/rural divide in the Pacific Northwest.