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

Politics | local | News

Campaign To Reinstate Affirmative Action In Washington Sued For Not Paying Signature Gatherers

According to the Washington Public Disclosure Commission, the group behind reinstating affirmative action in the state still has $1.3 million in outstanding debt.

Health | local | News

Patients With Developmental Disabilities Stuck In Washington Psychiatric Hospitals

In Washington, people with developmental disabilities are stuck in hospitals with no where to go, revealing an ongoing crisis in developmental disabilities services in the state.


Contempt Orders, Fines Mount As Developmentally Disabled Patients Languish In Washington Hospitals

In recent months, court commissioners on both sides of the Cascades have found the state of Washington in contempt, and even imposed fines, over access to state psychiatric care for people with severe developmental disabilities.

Politics | Health | local | News

Families, Advocates Sound Alarm Over Patients Stuck In Washington Hospitals

Hundreds of patients — most on Medicaid, Medicare or both — are stuck in Washington hospitals because of a lack of community-based options. There are no immediate fixes and a long-term solution could be years off.

Election | Politics | local | News

Jay Inslee To Seek 3rd Term As Washington Governor

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced his bid for a third term as governor in an email to supporters, saying that while it was an honor to run for president, he wants to continue his work leading the state.

Health | local | News

Washington Cancels 2 More Contracts With Troubled In-home Care Provider

The state of Washington is canceling two more contracts with a troubled provider of in-home care to people with developmental disabilities in Spokane County.

Health | local | News

Troubles Resurface For Washington In-home Care Provider After Client Death

Washington's Department of Social and Health Services shut down a major in-home care provider for developmentally disabled adults in 2018. Now, the cycle is repeating itself.

local | News

In-state Beds Lacking As Washington Brings Home Foster Children

A year ago, Washington state had 82 hard-to-place foster youths, mostly teenagers, living in facilities in states as far away as South Carolina,...

Nation | Business | Politics | local | News

Washington Gambling Commission Tells NRA Foundation 'No' For Now On Raising Gun Raffle Limit

The Washington State Gambling Commission cited ongoing investigations of the NRA’s nonprofit status and finances in New York and Washington, D.C.

Politics | Nation | Election | NW Life | local | News

Inslee's Presidential Campaign Taking Up Lots Of Time – And Taxpayer Money

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has been hopscotching the nation as a Democratic candidate for president, focused on climate change.

Politics | News

Senator's Comments Prompt Calls For More Inclusivity In Washington Capitol

A month ago, Washington state Sen. Mona Das, a first-term Democrat from Kent, made headlines for comments about racism and sexism in the Senate Democratic Caucus.

local | News

Washington Settles Lawsuit Over Lockdown For Inmates With Mental Illness

Washington's Department of Corrections has agreed to improve conditions for inmates with mental illness at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla.

Election | Politics | local | News

Washington Elections Officials Say New Registration System 'Not Ready'

County election officials in Washington are warning that a new statewide voter registration database system is not ready for the state's Aug. 6 primary and could result in incorrect ballots.

Business | Politics | Health | local | News

Nursing Home Closures In Washington Send Families Scrambling As Industry Sounds Alarm

A wave of nursing home closures in Washington is forcing patients and their families to scramble to find new facilities. Industry officials have warned lawmakers that closures will continue without emergency funding.

Nation | local | News

NW National Guard Troops Preparing In Washington Desert For 2021 Deployment

This month, more than 3,000 Army National Guard soldiers from Washington, Oregon and California have taken up temporary residence at the Yakima Training Center. Their mission? Prepare for a 2021 deployment.

Politics | local | News

Commission Urges Major Changes To Washington Sentencing Laws

Critics say Washington's "fixed" sentencing system has evolved into a complex thicket that ties the hands of judges.

NW Life | Health | local | News

Suicides In Northwest Jails Highlight Risk For Native American Inmates

Native Americans are disproportionately more likely to be in Northwest jails. As a result, they are also more likely to die in jail.

Health | local | News

Washington Jail Practices Put At-Risk Inmates In More Danger, Not Less

A new report outlines how Washington jails fail to "treat all people humanely, respectfully, and safely."

Business | Politics | Health | local | News

Will Washington's New 'Public Option' Plan Reduce Heath Care Costs?

This week Washington passed a law to create a new kind of public health insurance. It could inspire other states to try so-called "public option" plans. But how well will it work to bring costs down?

Politics | News | Economy | Health | Energy | Environment | Education | local

What Washington Lawmakers Passed — And Didn't — In 2019

Washington lawmakers just wrapped up an action-packed, 105-day session with the passage of the first state budget to exceed $50 billion and a bundle of tax hikes to fund it.