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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


After Alleged Rape, Investigation Reveals Sexualized Culture At Washington State Agency

Northwest News Network | Aug. 8, 2017 10:15 a.m.

A former deputy director at Washington’s Department of Fish and Wildlife is awaiting trial on charges he broke into the home of a coworker and raped her while she slept.

local | Election | News | Politics

Washington State Tells DOJ Voter Rolls Are 'Accurate'

Northwest News Network | Aug. 1, 2017 7:45 a.m.

Washington state’s voter rolls are “accurate,” and the state follows federal election laws. That’s the message Washington Director of Elections, Lori Augino, is sending to the U.S. Department of Justice.

local | News | Politics

Lockdown Lifted At Washington State Capitol Campus

Northwest News Network | July 12, 2017 10:48 a.m.

Heavily armed police officers found no evidence Wednesday morning of an active shooter on the Washington State Capitol Campus following reports of suspicious noises that sounded like gunshots.

local | News | Politics

Washington Sues Union, Accusing Unreported Political Contributions

Northwest News Network | July 11, 2017 6:06 p.m.

The lawsuit announced late Tuesday accuses SEIU’s State Council of making more than $5 million in unreported campaign contributions.

local | Nation | News | Politics

Jay Inslee's Trump Blasts Are A Warm-Up For 2018

Northwest News Network | July 9, 2017 10:45 a.m. | Olympia, Washington

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has emerged as a fierce critic of President Donald Trump. The Democrat has hit the cable news circuit and blasted the president over immigration, health care, climate change.

local | Business | News | Politics

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee Vetoes Plan To Give All Manufacturers The Boeing Tax Rate

Northwest News Network | July 7, 2017 4:30 p.m.

In a move certain to anger Republicans, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Friday vetoed a tax break for manufacturers that lawmakers passed last week as part of a budget deal to avoid a July 1 government shutdown.

local | Politics | News | NW Life

Washington State Will Guarantee Paid Family, Medical Leave

Northwest News Network | July 5, 2017 3:26 p.m. | Olympia, Washington

Beginning in 2020, workers in Washington will be eligible for paid family and medical leave through a new state program funded by employee and employer contributions.

local | Election | Nation | Communities | Politics

US Department Of Justice Also Seeks Voter Information From States

Northwest News Network | July 3, 2017 3:19 p.m.

It's not just the president's commission on voter fraud that's seeking information from the states. Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman released a...

local | News | Politics

Washington Reaches Budget Deal, But Compromise Awaits Test

Northwest News Network | June 30, 2017 11:15 p.m. | Olympia, Washington

It took three overtime sessions and the threat of a government shutdown, but in the end a divided Washington Legislature found the will and the pathway to a compromise.

local | News | Politics

Washington Reaches Budget Deal To Avert Government Shutdown

Northwest News Network | June 28, 2017 10:07 a.m. | Olympia, Washington

Legislative negotiators in Olympia have reached an "agreement in principle" on a two-year budget that would avoid a partial government shutdown on...

local | News | Politics

A Noisy March, A Cordial Meeting But No Sign Of A Budget Deal In Washington

Northwest News Network | June 16, 2017 6:45 p.m.

The state of Washington is 15 days from a partial government shutdown if lawmakers can’t come to agreement on a budget. 

local | Business | News

EBay Urges Customers To Oppose Washington Internet Tax

Northwest News Network | June 14, 2017 6:45 p.m.

Online retailer eBay wants to stop an internet tax proposal in the Washington state Legislature. To do that the company is rallying its customer base.

local | News | Politics

Washington Gov. Inslee Vows To 'Kickstart' Budget Negotiations

Northwest News Network | June 13, 2017 7:20 a.m.

House Democrats and Senate Republicans must agree on a budget for the next two years. If they don’t figure this out by June 30, the state will go into a partial government shutdown.

local | News

2 Inmates Who Escaped Washington Minimum Security Prison Captured

Northwest News Network | June 11, 2017 9:57 a.m.

Two inmates who escaped from a minimum security work camp near Olympia were captured Sunday afternoon in Capitol State Forest.

local | Politics

As Budget Talks Crawl, A Washington State Senate Race Accelerates

Northwest News Network | June 5, 2017 4:15 p.m.

It's only June in an off-election year, but yard signs are up and candidates are knocking on doors in Washington's 45th legislative district.

local | Nation | News | Politics

Former Washington Federal Prosecutors Challenge Sessions On Sentencing Policy

Northwest News Network | May 30, 2017 7:23 p.m.

More than two dozen former federal prosecutors from western Washington are pushing back against new guidance from the Trump administration.

local | Politics | News | Education

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. 

local | World | News | 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.

local | News | 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.