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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 | Education

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.

News | local | Education | 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.

Politics | local | News

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.

Politics | local | News

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.

Politics | local | News

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...

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

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.

Business | News | local | Education | Politics

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.

News | local | Education | 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...

local | News

Washington Prisons Deportation Program Still Going After 6 Years

Northwest News Network | March 29, 2017 6:45 p.m.

Since 2011, Washington’s prison system has deported 339 convicted felons instead of locking them up. The deportations are part of a voluntary program designed to reduce prison costs.

Politics | local | News

Washington Democrats Propose $3B Tax Package, GOP Predicts Special Session

Northwest News Network | March 27, 2017 7 p.m.

Democrats in the Washington state House have proposed a $3 billion tax package to help fund schools and social services over the next two years. The budget and tax plan unveiled Monday includes a new tax on capital gains.

Politics | local | News

Child Under 2? Washington GOP Plan Would Let Parents On Welfare Delay Work Requirement

Northwest News Network | March 22, 2017 8 p.m.

Washington Senate Republicans are looking for ways to save money on state subsidized child care for low-income families. And they think they’ve found a way.

Politics | local

Washington Senate Republicans Unveil Budget, Democrats Cry Foul

Northwest News Network | March 22, 2017 8 p.m.

Washington Senate Republicans have proposed a $5 billion increase in state spending over the next two years, including $1.8 billion more for public schools in an attempt to satisfy a Supreme Court ruling that found the state is not adequately funding K-12 education.

Politics | local | News

Washington State Legislature To Begin Work On New Budget

Northwest News Network | March 19, 2017 5:46 p.m.

Washington’s 105-day legislative session is more than half over. But the big job of negotiating a new two-year state budget has yet to begin.

Politics | Health | local | News

Inslee Calls Republican Healthcare Plan 'Disaster For Washington'

Northwest News Network | March 15, 2017 4:45 p.m. | Olympia, Washington

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is calling the Republican healthcare plan in Congress “a disaster.” Inslee made his comments Wednesday as new projections on the impact to the state were released.


Washington Businesses Slam Carbon Tax

Northwest News Network | March 14, 2017 7:15 p.m.

During a public hearing Tuesday, businesses said a proposed carbon tax in Washington state would cost jobs and hurt the state's economy.

Energy | local | News | Business | Economy | Climate change | Environment

Carbon Tax Floated As Possible Replacement To Inslee's 'Clean Air Rule'

Northwest News Network | March 14, 2017 6:15 a.m.

Polluting industries in Washington state don't like Gov. Jay Inslee's cap on carbon emissions — and they don't think it's legal.


Gun Rights Lobby Declares Victory In Olympia

Northwest News Network | March 10, 2017 6:30 p.m.

Gun rights advocates are declaring victory after several firearms-related measures failed to advance in the Washington Legislature.

Politics | local | News | Technology

Lobbying Frenzy Over Access To Washington State Infrastructure For Small Cell Technology

Northwest News Network | March 9, 2017 7:27 p.m.

Wireless carriers are pushing legislation in Washington state to give them access to power poles, street lights and other public infrastructure for placement of the small antennas.

News | local | Education

Delay In School Districts 'Levy Cliff' Headed To Gov. Jay Inslee's Desk

Northwest News Network | March 9, 2017 6:15 p.m.

Washington state school districts will not go over the so-called “levy cliff.” At least not next year.