Austin Jenkins

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy as well as the Washington State legislature. He regularly files stories for NPR News. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

Prior to joining the Northwest News Network, Austin was a freelance general assignment reporter at KING–TV, the NBC affiliate in Seattle. He also worked as a freelance education reporter for KPLU–FM, the Tacoma–based NPR station. Austin spent 2001 in Washington, D.C. as a Knight Foundation/American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow. Austin has also worked as a television reporter in Portland, Oregon; Boise, Idaho; Casper, Wyoming; and Bozeman, Montana. Austin is a graduate of Garfield High School in Seattle and has a B.A. in Government from Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut.

Over the years Austin has won numerous professional awards for his reporting. He lives in Olympia with his wife Jennifer Huntley and their two children.

Read Austin's blog, "The Washington Ledge: Dispatches From Olympia."

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NPR Story
6:12 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

New Background Check Law Likely Stopped Prohibited Buyer At Washington Gun Show

FIle photo. Washington's new background check law took effect on December 4.
M Glasgow Flickr

Washington’s new voter-approved background check law appears to have prevented the sale of a rifle to a man with a warrant out for his arrest.

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NPR Story
5:54 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Mobile Home Rentals Fall Into Regulatory Gray Area

The owner of Evergreen Mobile Estates in Shelton, Washington, says she's providing affordable rental housing to low-income individuals and families.
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 6:14 pm

Across the Northwest, some families will spend Christmas in rented mobile homes where the living conditions are marginal at best and dangerous at worst.

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NPR Story
10:45 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Inslee Proposes Robust Tax Package For Washington State Budget

Washington Governor Jay Inslee unveils his budget proposal in Olympia, Wash. Thursday.
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 3:42 pm

Washington Governor Jay Inslee said Thursday, "it is time to reinvest in Washington." He proposed that the state adopt a new capital-gains tax to help fund a $39 billion two-year budget that would prioritize education, union-negotiated pay raises for state employees, and avoid what the Democratic governor calls “devastating” cuts to corrections, higher education and social services.

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NPR Story
4:15 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Washington Governor Prepares To Release Budget, Taxes To Pay For It

File photo of the Washington State Capitol
Colin Fogarty Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 4:50 pm

Washington Governor Jay Inslee has been on a three-day road show to showcase his plans for education, transportation and climate change.

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NPR Story
4:20 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Cyber Security Audit: Washington Agencies Not In Full Compliance

File photo of one of the built-out data halls in Washington's data center.
Washington Consolidated Technology Services

The state of Washington has good cyber security standards, but state agencies don’t always adhere to those standards.

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NPR Story
3:42 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Windstorm Leaves Big Cleanup Job In Its Wake

A large tree toppled into a car in Olympia's South Capitol neighborhood taking with it power lines. The force of the tree also snapped a power pole.
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

The lights are back on for many of those who lost power during the windstorm that walloped western Oregon and Washington Thursday night. But repair crews are still hard at work across the region.

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NPR Story
3:12 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Could 'Spy-Proof' Secret Rooms Go Into Washington's Data Center?

File photo of one of the built out data halls in Washington's data center.
Washington Consolidated Technology Services

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 10:43 am

A foil-wrapped secret room is a plausible use for unused portions of Washington’s new data center. That’s according to a national expert on what Time Magazine has dubbed “spy-proof rooms.”

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NPR Story
5:37 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Washington Capitol Prepares For Gun-Rights Rally Saturday

File photo. Several hundred gun rights advocates rallying at the Washington Capitol in January 2013.
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

The state of Washington is preparing for as many as 6,000 gun-rights advocates to attend a rally at the Capitol on Saturday.

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NPR Story
3:03 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Washington Governor Likely To Propose Robust Tax Package

Brianhe Wikimedia

Washington Governor Jay Inslee is likely to propose a more than $1 billion revenue package when he unveils his proposed two-year budget next week.

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NPR Story
4:49 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

As Data Center 'Halls' Sit Empty, Washington Casts Wider Net For Tenants

Washington has two unused data center halls available for lease, but so far there have been no takers.
Washington Consolidated Technology Services

The search is widening for tenants to fill Washington’s overbuilt data center. Efforts to lease the 26,000 square feet of highly-secure warehouse space to the private sector have so far been unsuccessful.

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