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
4:27 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

Ethics Board To Consider If Lawmakers Should Report Free Meals

Brianhe Wikimedia

Washington’s Legislative Ethics Board has capped the number of free meals lawmakers can accept from lobbyists.

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NPR Story
4:31 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

Seattle's King County To Study Jury Diversity

File photo of City Hall Park and King County Courthouse in Seattle
Joe Mabel Wikimedia

King County, Washington, is more than 30 percent non-white. But juries in the state’s most populous county often don’t reflect that diversity.

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NPR Story
5:20 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Locke On Coal Exports: Set Rules For How China Uses It

File photo of an operating coal-fired power plant in China.
Wikimedia

Coal export terminals are in the permitting process in both Washington and Oregon, but they face heavy opposition.

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NPR Story
5:11 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Washington Legislative Caucuses Race Freeze On Fundraising

Invitations to legislative caucus fundraisers in Olympia before the December 13 campaign freeze takes effect.
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

The election is over, but not the political fundraising. Washington state lawmakers are racing the clock to replenish their coffers before the freeze.

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NPR Story
3:24 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

WSU President Hopes To Present 'Unified Front' On Medical School

An existing building on the WSU Spokane campus would be used for the proposed medical school.
Washington State University

Originally published on Fri November 21, 2014 11:32 am

This January, Washington State University plans to ask lawmakers for permission to open a medical school in Spokane.

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NPR Story
4:35 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Squeezing Toothpaste Becomes Analogy For Washington Budget

Justin Henry Flickr

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 7:22 am

To raise taxes, or not raises taxes? That is the question. Washington Democrats have been hinting at yes. Republicans like Senate budget chair Andy Hill say it’s a last resort.

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NPR Story
4:24 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Washington's Lobbying Corps Populated By Former Lawmakers, Staffers

Lobbyist Bill Stauffacher once worked for Washington House Democrats. He believes a required cooling off period between state service and becoming a lobbyist would push the 'revolving door' underground.
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed November 19, 2014 6:06 pm

In Washington, D.C., there’s a waiting period before members of Congress and their staffers can work as lobbyists.

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NPR Story
3:35 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Washington Class Size Measure Puts $2B Dent in State Budget

Colin Fogarty Northwest News Network

Washington’s budget outlook is suddenly $2 billion in the red largely because of a class size reduction measure just approved by the voters.

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NPR Story
3:51 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Oil Interests Fund 'Astroturf' Groups In Washington, Oregon

This PowerPoint slide shows the campaigns and coalitions that the Western States Petroleum Association has 'activated' to combat what it calls 'aggressive anti-oil initiatives in the West.'

Astroturfing is when interest groups run a campaign that’s designed to look like it’s grassroots in nature.

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NPR Story
2:56 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

Washington State Patrol Cites Truck Driver In Skagit Bridge Collapse

A water level view of the accident scene following the collapse of the bridge spanning the Skagit River.

The Washington State Patrol has ticketed the driver of an oversize load that collapsed the Skagit River Bridge in May of 2013.

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