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
4:35 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Inslee's Optimism May Not Be Enough For Gas Tax Package

Governor Jay Inslee speaks at a legislative preview forum in Olympia hosted by the Associated Press.
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Washington Governor Jay Inslee says he will continue to push for a gas tax package in the 60-day session that starts Monday. But a key transportation leader in the State Senate signaled Thursday that prospects for a deal may be dimming.

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NPR Story
4:55 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Washington Senator Proposes End To Pensions For Elected Officials

Washington state Senator John Braun
Washington Legislature

A Washington state senator says if 401(k)s are good enough for Boeing machinists, they should be good enough for those who hold elected office.

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NPR Story
3:06 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Washington Initiative Promoter Files Measure To Resurrect Anti-Tax Rule

Initiative promoter Tim Eyman has a plan to resurrect the two-thirds vote requirement for tax increases in Washington
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Washington initiative promoter Tim Eyman kicked off the New Year with a new ballot proposal.

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NPR Story
12:59 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

New Year Brings Sobriety Testing For Repeat Drunk Drivers

Officer Durbin of the Portland Police Department tests volunteer Jennifer Van Vleet for blood alcohol level in this 2009 file photo.
Oregon Department of Transportation

Repeat drunk drivers in Washington who get arrested in the New Year may find themselves ordered to blow into a breathalyzer twice a day.

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NPR Story
12:36 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

New Laws In Washington: Rioting Gets Name Change, Seahawks Fandom Licensed

November 1999 photo of WTO protests in Seattle.
Isabel Esterman Flickr

After January 1, rioting will still be a crime in Washington. But it will get a new name. And Seahawks fans will have a new way to show their loyalty to the team.

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NPR Story
5:01 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

Recruiting Prison Health Care Workers Could Get Harder Under Affordable Care Act

Eric Larsen is an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner for the Washington Department of Corrections.
Eric Hernandez Washington Dept. of Corrections

Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 9:21 am

It’s no easy task to find doctors, nurses and other health care professionals to take a job in a prison. The stigma alone is a major barrier. Not to mention concerns about personal safety.

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NPR Story
2:56 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

Free Meal Complaint Against Lawmakers Dismissed, 'Serious Concerns' Remain

Robert S. Donovan Flickr

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 1:54 pm

An ethics panel in Washington has ruled that five Republican state senators did not violate Washington ethics law when they accepted dozens of free meals from lobbyists earlier this year.

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NPR Story
3:51 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Governor Inslee Says Time For Statewide Minimum Wage Discussion

File photo of Washington Governor Jay Inslee
Christina Salerno TVW

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 10:02 am

 Washington Governor Jay Inslee says it’s time for a discussion on raising the state’s minimum wage - already the nation's highest.

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NPR Story
7:50 am
Thu December 19, 2013

No Deal On Washington Gas Tax Package, Talks To Resume In January

Governor Jay Inslee has a light moment with transportation co-chair Senator Curtis King, R-Yakima after announcing there is no deal on a gas tax package.
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Washington Governor Jay Inslee’s hopes for a gas tax package agreement before the end of the year have been dashed.

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NPR Story
9:26 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Study: Pot Use In Washington Double Original Projections

presensa420 Flickr

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 10:56 am

If there is such a thing, the typical pot smoker in Washington is a white male, 35 or younger with some college education. And he smokes a lot more weed than anyone thought.

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