Now Playing:


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


'OPB Politics Now:' Learning From Washington About Gun Control And A Carbon Tax

Next year, Oregon lawmakers plan to take up gun control and climate change. And coincidentally, Washington voters just considered the same issues.

News | local | Election | Politics

A Grieving Grandmother's Quest To Change Washington's Gun Laws

Under the initiative, if a gun wasn’t safely stored and ended up in the wrong hands and someone was injured or killed, the gun’s owner could face felony community endangerment charges.

News | local | Election | Politics

‘OPB Politics Now’: Washington’s Wild Primary

In the battle for control of the U.S. House, Washington state is now one of the big hotspots.

News | local | Election | Politics

Washington Republicans Say They Have 'Work To Do' After Close Primaries

Washington Republicans are regrouping after a primary election pounding Tuesday that extended beyond swing districts to rock-ribbed GOP pockets of the state.

News | local | Politics

Felony Cannabis Convictions In Wash. Down Significantly Since Legalization

The legalization of recreational marijuana in Washington state in 2012 resulted in a dramatic decrease in the number of people sentenced for marijuana...

local | Health | News

Western State Hospital Loses Certification, $53M In Federal Funding

Despite a two-year turnaround effort, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced Monday that it will strip Washington’s Western State Hospital of federal certification.

News | local

Tumwater Shooting Leaves 2 Injured, Suspected Shooter Dead

A shooting spree in Tumwater ended in a sun-drenched Walmart parking lot when a civilian shot the suspected gunman to death, police said Sunday evening.

News | local | Election | Politics

2 Washington Supreme Court Candidates Bounced From Ballot

Two candidates for the Washington Supreme Court have been disqualified from appearing on the November ballot.

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

Washington AG Files Campaign Finance Lawsuits Against Facebook, Google

The lawsuits filed Monday allege the companies failed to keep records about who purchased political advertising from them.

News | local | Politics

In Sign Of The Times, Washington State Now Has Mass Shooter Work Group

In the aftermath of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, the state of Washington established a "work group"on mass shootings.

News | local | Politics

Washington House Budget Chair Pleads Guilty After DUI Arrest

The chief budget writer in the Washington House of Representatives, has pleaded guilty to reckless driving after DUI arrest.

local | Health | News

Feds Accept Plan To Mitigate Suicide Risk At Washington's Western State Hospital

Washington state's largest psychiatric hospital is no longer in immediate jeopardy of losing federal funding.

Politics | News | local | Election | Nation

Inslee's Iowa Trip Adds Fuel To Speculation About Run For President

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is headed to Iowa — a frequent first stop for presidential hopefuls. He’s emerged as leading voice of opposition to President Donald Trump.

News | local

Former Washington Auditor's Stolen Funds Conviction Stands

Former Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley Tuesday lost a motion to have his conviction for possession of stolen funds tossed out. But he did win two other motions.

News | local | Politics

Mental Health Looms As Next Vexing Challenge For Washington Lawmakers

Gov. Jay Inslee is calling for an accelerated change in how the state’s two psychiatric hospitals are operated.

local | Health | News

Lawsuit Alleges Mistreatment Of Walla Walla Inmates With Mental Illness

At the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla, inmates with mental illness are locked down in their cells for up to 16 hours a day, even if they pose little risk.

News | local | Politics

In Unusual Move, Washington AG Endorses Gun-Related Ballot Measure

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson says he supports a proposed initiative that would raise the purchase age for semi-automatic rifles to 21 and require enhanced background checks.

News | local | Politics

Historic Olympia: Where Lobbyists Are Your Neighbors

Just south of the state Capitol building you’ll find a neighborhood dotted with quaint, historic houses. But you won’t find families with children in many of them.

News | local | Politics

Washington Supreme Court Could Decide Constitutionality Of Death Penalty

A bipartisan effort to repeal the death penalty fell short in the Washington Legislature this year. But a separate effort to overturn the state's capital punishment statute through the courts is ongoing.

local | Health | News

Getting Naloxone In The NW Is Easier Than You Might Think

The U.S. Surgeon General wants more Americans to carry the overdose reversal drug naloxone. So how do you get it? Turns out, it's not that difficult.