Austin Jenkins
Austin Jenkins

Austin Jenkins

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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.

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Stuck in jail, waiting for a psychiatric bed. COVID-19 made an old problem worse.

Like many others, Bill Ward’s grandson is jammed in Washington state’s criminal justice system for people who cannot assist in their own defense. While Washington’s system has been strained for years state officials and disability rights advocates say it effectively ground to a halt during the COVID-19 pandemic.


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‘OPB Politics Now’: A tale of two legislatures, the sequel

While Oregon is still in the dramatic throes of a legislative session, our neighbors to the north are all finished with their work. In this episode, we talk through some of the highlights of Washington’s most memorable legislative session in years. And we’ll check in on Oregon’s session, where progress has been halting.



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‘OPB Politics Now’: A tale of 2 legislatures

In this episode, we examine why the Oregon state Legislature seems to be in a state of perpetual dysfunction, while Washington’s Legislature, by comparison, has somehow managed to look like a model of respectful bipartisanship.





This screenshot shows an example of McKinsey & Company's "Governor's Decision Support Tool." The office of Washington Gov. Jay Inslee contracted for access to this tool and a team of four consultants from McKinsey for $165,000 a week for eight weeks.

$165K a week for COVID analysis? That’s how much Washington paid a global consulting firm

In early June, as Gov. Jay Inslee was overseeing a phased reopening of the state, his budget office signed a contract with the elite international consulting firm McKinsey & Company to provide access to a “Governor’s Decision Support Tool.” Under the contract, the state initially agreed to pay for eight weeks of access to McKinsey’s services and proprietary data sets. The cost to taxpayers: $165,000 per week.

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