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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


Interest Groups Abound At State Lawmakers National Conference In Seattle

Northwest News Network | July 29, 2015 6:07 p.m.

State lawmakers from around the country will descend on Seattle the week of August 3 for a national legislative summit.


Training, Quality Assurance Lacking In Washington Forensic Mental Health Program

Northwest News Network | July 29, 2015 5:54 p.m.

The state of Washington is on a hiring spree for forensic psychologists. They're needed to help address a backlog of mentally ill jail inmates whose...


Strange Twist In 'Asylum Playing Cards' Crowdfunding Case

Northwest News Network | July 28, 2015 4:41 p.m.

Backers of a crowdfunding project from 2012 say they're suddenly receiving the product they were promised.


Washington AG Wins $55K Judgment Against Kickstarter Campaign Sponsor

Northwest News Network | July 28, 2015 10:06 a.m.

Washington's Attorney General has won a $55,000 judgment against the backer of a Kickstarter campaign that failed to deliver.


Mother Agonizes As Mentally Ill Inmates Continue To Languish In Washington Jails

Northwest News Network | July 23, 2015 6:10 p.m.

The state of Washington is under a federal court order to address the issue of mentally ill inmates languishing in jail. But the problem has actually...


Washington Liquor Board Adds Cannabis To Its Name

Northwest News Network | July 23, 2015 5:28 p.m.

Washington's Liquor Control Board is getting a new name. Friday it will become the Liquor and Cannabis Board.


Washington Capitol Campus Turns Brown In Drought

Northwest News Network | July 22, 2015 4:35 p.m.

Farms and fish aren't the only ones suffering from Northwest drought conditions. So are trees and plants on Washington's 435-acre Capitol campus.


Washington Activists Celebrate PTSD, TBI As Qualifying Conditions For Medical Pot

Northwest News Network | July 21, 2015 2:54 p.m.

The PTSD and TBI provision is part of a sweeping overhaul of Washington’s medical marijuana industry. The aim of the new law is to regulate medical cannabis under the state’s recreational pot system.


Record-Long Session Produced Surprisingly Few New Laws

Northwest News Network | July 17, 2015 12:44 p.m.

It was a record-long legislative session in Washington. But the number of bills that actually became law was quite few – comparatively.


Washington Capital Construction Budget Includes $130M In Lawmaker-Requested Projects

Northwest News Network | July 16, 2015 3:33 p.m.

Before they left town, Washington lawmakers approved a nearly $4 billion capital construction budget. That includes $130 million in member-requested...

Animals | News | local

Washington Lawmaker Warns Of Noxious Weed After Death Of Horse

Northwest News Network | July 15, 2015 3:30 p.m.

The death of his prized horse has a Washington state lawmaker warning about a noxious weed that's spreading in the Northwest.

Politics | Education | local | News

How Washington's Legislature Suspended The Class-Size Measure

OPB | July 15, 2015 12:43 p.m. | OLYMPIA, Wash.

Tuesday, Washington state suspended a recent voter-approved measure intended to limit class sizes.


School Superintendent Applauds Suspension Of Class Size, Testing Requirements

Northwest News Network | July 14, 2015 5:19 p.m.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed into law Tuesday a four-year suspension of a voter-approved class size measure. He also signed a two-year delay of...


Washington Senate Votes To Delay Class Size Measure, Biology Exam Requirement

Northwest News Network | July 10, 2015 7:31 a.m.

The Washington state Senate voted Thursday afternoon to delay a voter-approved class size measure and a biology test high school graduation requirement.


Washington Lawmakers Announce Deal To Suspend Biology Exam, Class Size Measure

Northwest News Network | July 8, 2015 3:17 p.m.

Washington Senate Republicans have agreed to suspend a biology exam requirement that's keeping nearly 2,000 high school students from graduating.


Class Size Standoff Continues In Olympia

Northwest News Network | July 7, 2015 4:22 p.m.

Typically, the Washington legislature is done long before Oregon because of how the legislative calendars work in each state. But not this year.


Ivory And Taxes Likely To Make Washington's Fall Ballot

Northwest News Network | July 2, 2015 3:18 p.m.

Billionaire Paul Allen wants wildlife traffickers to feel a bit more pain. Professional initiative sponsor Tim Eyman wants state lawmakers to feel a bit...


Witnesses Describe Escalation That Preceded Pasco Police Shooting

Northwest News Network | July 2, 2015 1:45 a.m.

People who knew Antonio Zambrano-Montes said he had been sad and depressed in the months before his death in Pasco, Washington. He was shot in February...


Paying At The Pump: 12-Cent Hike In Washington Gas Tax Passes

Northwest News Network | July 1, 2015 9:53 a.m.

The Washington state Senate Wednesday morning failed to muster a two-thirds vote to suspend a voter-approved class size measure. That could put a $2...


Washington Budget Signed Into Law, Shutdown Averted

Northwest News Network | July 1, 2015 12:58 a.m.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed a new two-year budget into law just before midnight Tuesday averting a partial government shutdown.