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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


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.


Washington Lawmakers Send Budget To Governor

Northwest News Network | June 30, 2015 7:20 a.m.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee will sign a new $38.2 billion two-year budget into law Tuesday, just in time to avert a partial government shutdown.


Bottled Water, Oregon Shoppers Remain Tax Free Under Washington Budget

Northwest News Network | June 29, 2015 5:27 p.m.

Oregon shoppers and bottled water will remain untaxed in Washington's next two-year budget, but a couple of other tax exemptions will be eliminated.


Washington Lawmakers May Vote On 11.9 Cent Gas Tax Increase

Northwest News Network | June 29, 2015 4:39 p.m.

Washington's gas tax would go up nearly 12 cents per gallon to fund road projects under a deal struck between Democrats and Republicans.


Washington Lawmakers Plan To Pass Budget

Northwest News Network | June 29, 2015 7:36 a.m.

With a third special session underway, the Washington House and Senate plan to vote sometime Monday on a two-year budget.


Overhaul Of Marijuana Taxation Goes To Washington Governor

Northwest News Network | June 29, 2015 7:17 a.m.

Recreational marijuana buyers would pay a flat 37 percent pot tax, plus sales tax, under a proposal headed to the desk of Washington Governor Jay Inslee.


Washington Governor, Lawmakers Announce Budget Agreement

Northwest News Network | June 27, 2015 9:36 p.m.

If you have plans to visit a Washington State Park over the Fourth of July, Washington Gov. Inslee has a message for you. "You'll be able to go that...


Washington Republican Lawmaker Celebrates Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Northwest News Network | June 26, 2015 2:39 p.m.

Republican state lawmaker Maureen Walsh of Walla Walla, Washington, is celebrating Friday's Supreme Court ruling.


Washington Senate Republicans Prepare One-Month Budget To Avoid Shutdown

Northwest News Network | June 25, 2015 4:22 p.m.

Washington lawmakers still have time to get a budget deal and avert a partial government shutdown July 1.


26,000 Washington Employees Receive Temporary Layoff Warnings

Northwest News Network | June 23, 2015 4:47 p.m.

The state of Washington has sent email alerts to 26,000 state employees notifying them of temporary layoff.


Washington House Democrats Move Ahead With Budget Plan

Northwest News Network | June 22, 2015 3:19 p.m.

Washington House Democrats are moving forward with a plan to eliminate several tax exemptions, but they don't yet have buy-in from Senate Republicans.


Do-Or-Die Week For Washington Lawmakers As Government Shutdown Looms

Northwest News Network | June 19, 2015 3:52 p.m.

Washington lawmakers have until the 30-day special session runs out on June 27 to reach a budget deal. If they fail to do so, a partial government...


Washington Democrats Drop Capital Gains Idea, GOP May Consider Closing Tax Exemptions

Northwest News Network | June 19, 2015 3:15 p.m.

There's still no budget deal in Olympia, but Washington House Democrats said Friday they're willing to drop their push for a state capital gains tax.


Preparations Continue For Possible Washington Government Shutdown

Northwest News Network | June 19, 2015 1:42 p.m.

If Washington lawmakers don't have a budget by the end of the month, state government will shut down. But it would only be a partial shutdown.


Former Washington State Lawmaker Agrees To Pay $5,600 To Close Ethics Case

Northwest News Network | June 18, 2015 2:50 p.m.

Former Washington state Rep. Susan Fagan has agreed to reimburse taxpayers after filing false expense reports.


Families Oppose Moving Washington Inmates Out-Of-State

Northwest News Network | June 17, 2015 6:12 p.m.

The Washington state Department of Corrections recently signed a contract with the GEO Group to send up to 1000 inmates to Michigan.


Accused Could Have To Pay For Alcohol, Drug Monitoring In Washington

Northwest News Network | June 17, 2015 4:43 p.m.

Accused criminals in Washington could be required to pay thousands of dollars for drug and alcohol monitoring while they await trial.