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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

Health | News | local

1st Inmate Inside A Washington Prison Tests Positive For COVID-19

A prisoner at the Monroe Correctional Complex has tested positive for COVID-19, making him the first incarcerated individual in a Washington prison known to have contracted the virus.

Health | Politics | News | local

Inslee Vetoes $235M In New Spending As COVID-19 Fiscal Cliff Looms

Among the bigger ticket items Washington Gov. Jay Inslee eliminated was more than $100 million to hire 370 more school guidance counselors statewide.

Health | News | local

A Washington Inmate Fears Coronavirus Could Sweep Through His Prison Like A Fire

The risk that COVID-19 could get into a prison is high, as is the potential for it to spread quickly because of tight spaces, shared quarters and dense populations.

Health | News | local

As Supplies Dwindle, One Doctor Uses Creative Ways To 'Hustle Masks'

In these times of uncertainty and upheaval amidst a global pandemic, Dr. Jessica Van Fleet-Green had reason to celebrate recently. After three weeks of...

Health | Politics | News | local

Petition Seeks Early Release Of Some Washington Prison Inmates To Stop Spread Of Coronavirus

Advocates for people incarcerated in Washington prisons have filed a petition with the state Supreme Court seeking the immediate release of some inmates to reduce the risk of a coronavirus outbreak behind bars.

Health | News | local

Washington Gov. Inslee Announces Statewide Stay-At-Home Order

Following the lead of California and several other states and local communities, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Monday evening announced an immediate...

Health | News | local

Washington State Epidemiologist: 'Everybody's In This Really Strange Place Right Now'

As the state of Washington’s epidemiologist for communicable diseases, Dr. Scott Lindquist’s job is to study and try to control the spread of disease. But these days he’s operating more like a logistics officer in the military.

Health | News | local

Coronavirus Outbreak Threat Looms In NW Communal Settings Like Jails, Shelters

Any communal facility where a group of people are living, eating and sleeping together – from homeless shelters to group homes to jails and prisons to state mental hospitals – is a potential breeding ground for the virus.

Health | News | NW Life | local

Inslee To Announce Social Distancing Measures Wednesday

The governor said if the assumption is that 1,000 people in Washington currently have COVID-19, then the projections are as many as 64,000 could be infected in seven or eight weeks from now, unless measures are taken to slow the spread. 

Health | News | local

Washington Gov. Hints Mandatory Orders May Be Coming To Stem Coronavirus Spread

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee says mandatory social distancing measures may be required to stem the spread of coronavirus.

Health | Politics | News | Forestry | local

Vice President Pence Visits Washington As State's Coronavirus Outbreak Grows

Vice President Mike Pence traveled to the state Thursday to tour the Military Department’s Emergency Operations Center, meet with Gov. Jay Inslee and other elected leaders and announce the arrival of a shipment of supplies for healthcare workers from the Strategic National Stockpile in Atlanta.

Health | Politics | News | local

Washington Dept. Of Health Asking Lawmakers For $100M For Coronavirus Response

As the death toll rises, Washington's Secretary of Health is asking state lawmakers for $100 million in emergency funds to respond to the coronavirus.

Election | local | Politics | News

GOP Candidate Tim Eyman Concealed Campaign Contributions, Says Judge

A Thurston County judge has found that anti-tax activist and Republican candidate for governor Tim Eyman concealed more than $700,000 in campaign contributions related to his initiative work over a six-year period.

local | Politics | News

Bill To Restore Felons' Voting Rights Dies On The Floor Of The Washington Senate

Majority Democrats abruptly ended debate on the controversial bill Wednesday evening when they realized they lacked the 25 votes needed to pass the measure.

Business | Health | Economy | Politics | local | News

Health Insurance Industry Lobbying Pays Off With Key Change To Consumer-minded Bill

Strong opposition and intense lobbying by Washington’s health insurance industry has resulted in a key change to a consumer-oriented measure designed to address rising premium costs.

Health | News | local

Where Will They Go? Washington Nursing Home For Brain Injured Patients To Close

After years of financial challenges, the third generation, family-run nursing home Delta Rehabilitation is preparing to close its doors.

Health | Politics | Business | News | local

Washington Lawmaker Seeks End To Tax Break That Benefits Opioid Distributors

Each year in Washington, opioid overdoses kill approximately 700 people. In response to this crisis, a state lawmaker is proposing to repeal a tax break that benefits opioid distributors. The money raised would fund drug treatment services.

Business | Health | Economy | Politics | local | News

Washington State Lawmakers Eyeing Health Insurers' Billions In Premium Surpluses

In recent years, Washington’s three biggest nonprofit insurers have amassed nearly $4.5 billion in surpluses. Now, two proposals in the Washington Legislature are taking aim at those surpluses.

local | Politics | News

Washington Lawmaker Wants To Ban Openly Carried Guns At The State Capitol

Following an unpermitted pro-gun rally, a Democratic state lawmaker has introduced legislation to ban openly-carried guns on Washington's Capitol grounds.