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
3:30 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Missouri Governor Calls Special Session For Boeing Deal

File photo of a Boeing 777 jetliner.
Boeing

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 9:34 am

Sound familiar? Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has called a special session so lawmakers there can work on a plan to land Boeing's 777X assembly line.

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NPR Story
2:50 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

Washington Lawmakers Hear Pitch For Corporate Tax Disclosure

File photo of the Washington State Capitol Building
Cacophony Wikimedia

Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 3:46 pm

The issue of tax transparency in Washington is getting fresh attention on the heels of a major tax deal for Boeing.

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NPR Story
3:07 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Celebration And Angst As Marijuana License Application Window Opens

Jeff Gilmore, right, with partner Dave Brown have applied for a license to grow legal marijuana. Gilmore says he was busted two decades ago for growing pot and believes it’s “about time” he can do so legally.
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Would-be growers, processors and retailers applied online and in-person Monday as the 30-day window for marijuana business licenses applications opened in Washington.

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NPR Story
8:54 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Army Charges Soldier In 2007 Killing Of Deaf Boys In Iraq

A U.S. Army Sergeant will be transferred to Joint Base Lewis-McChord to face charges he murdered two unarmed, deaf boys in Iraq in 2007.

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NPR Story
9:43 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Governor Inslee Vows To Continue To Compete For 777X

Washington Governor Jay Inslee addresses reporters in Olympia following the overwhelming vote by Boeing machinists to reject a Boeing contract offer.
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 10:35 am

The machinists' two-to-one rejection of the Boeing contract was not the outcome Washington Governor Jay Inslee had hoped for.

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NPR Story
3:19 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Pot License Investigators Will Be On Alert For 'Hidden Ownership'

Cannabis Training University Wikimedia

Pot entrepreneurs in Washington can apply for a business license beginning next Monday. The state now has a team of 14 license investigators ready to vet the applicants.

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Real Estate
7:33 am
Tue November 12, 2013

Terms And Cost Of Pacific Tower Lease Raise Questions

Pacific Tower is a 14-story former public hospital that the state plans to lease for 30 years for a health college and center for non-profits.
Credit Austin Jenkins

The state of Washington is about to make a major real estate decision that supporters say will transform healthcare training for the next generation. The deal has also been called “a nightmare.” We’re talking about a proposed lease of Seattle’s Pacific Tower - former headquarters of Amazon dot com. Powerful interests – including Washington’s Speaker of the House – want to turn the Seattle  landmark into a training center for future health care workers and a hub for non-profits. But internal state agency documents raise serious questions about the terms and cost of the deal.

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NPR Story
2:44 pm
Mon November 11, 2013

Boeing Incentives Signed; Washington Lawmakers Turn To Roads

File photo of a Boeing 777 jetliner.
Boeing

Boeing will get tax incentives and worker training under bills signed into law Monday by Washington Governor Jay Inslee.

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NPR Story
3:13 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

Inslee Lobbies Lawmakers To Extend Tax Breaks For Boeing

File photo of a Boeing 777 jetliner.
Boeing

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 3:27 pm

Governor Jay Inslee says he can’t overstate the upside of Washington winning production of Boeing’s next generation 777 airliner.

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November 2013 Election
5:54 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Washington Voters Defeating GMO Labeling Initiative

Initiative 522 supporters listen to speeches after early vote returns showed the measuring trailing by nearly double-digits.
Credit Austin Jenkins

A record twenty-two million dollars in opposition spending appears to have paid off for grocery, seed and pesticide makers. Washington voters  Tuesday night were rejecting a ballot measure to require GMO-labeling of foods. Opponents declared victory.

The music at the Yes on 522 party in Seattle’s Pioneer Square was upbeat. But the speeches were of the more subdued variety. Trudy Bialic of PCC Natural Markets is a campaign spokesperson. She addressed the crowd after early returns showed the measure down by nearly double digits.

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