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."

Pages

NPR Story
3:24 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Billions At Stake As Washington Supreme Court Hears Pension Cases

File photo of the interior of the Washington state Supreme Court
Cacophony Wikimedia

Billions of dollars are at stake as the Washington Supreme Court considers a pair of pension cases. Oral arguments were Thursday.

Read more
NPR Story
3:04 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Washington Supreme Court Hears Airplane Meal Workers Case

File photo of the Temple of Justice at the Washington State Capitol in Olympia, Washington.
Cacophony Wikimedia

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 4:42 pm

Washington’s Supreme Court will decide whether employers must accommodate the religious practices of their employees.

Read more
NPR Story
3:54 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

Tears, Vows To Remember As Permanent Memorial Unveiled At JBLM

Debbie Ward, in pink, fights tears as she looks at a newly unveiled memorial for fallen military police soldiers at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Her son PFC Aaron Ward was killed in Iraq in 2008.
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

As a decade of war winds down, Joint Base Lewis-McChord is adding to a memorial park for the fallen.

Read more
NPR Story
10:05 am
Fri October 18, 2013

Former Speaker Of The House Tom Foley Dead At 84

Former Speaker of the House Tom Foley died Friday at the age of 84.
U.S. House of Representatives

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 1:27 pm

Former Speaker of the U.S. House Tom Foley died Friday morning at his current home in Washington, DC. He was 84. 

Read more
NPR Story
4:42 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Visitors Return, But Economic Damage Done As Northwest National Parks Reopen

Cars line up at the Nisqually entrance to Mt. Rainier National Park on the first day the park reopened following a 16-day partial government shutdown.
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

From Crater Lake to Mt. Rainier, visitors wasted no time returning to the Northwest’s national parks and monuments.

Read more
NPR Story
3:58 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Grocers Push Back On Tim Eyman's Initiative On Initiatives

Washington grocers say Initiative 517 would infringe on their private property rights. Sponsors reject that claim.
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Over the years, Washington lawmakers have pondered ways to rein-in the state’s initiative process. Now comes a ballot measure designed to make it easier to qualify for the ballot.

Read more
NPR Story
3:05 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Washington Marijuana Rules Pave Way For Stores Next Year

Katheirne Hitt Flickr

Washington’s Liquor Control Board has formally adopted 43 pages of rules for legal, recreational marijuana.

Read more
NPR Story
3:11 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

No Plans To Reopen Northwest National Parks, Monuments With State Funds

Jimmy Emerson Flickr

The governors of Washington, Oregon and Idaho say they have no plans to reopen national parks and monuments using state dollars. President Obama has given states that option as the federal government shutdown stretches into day 11 and beyond.

Utah immediately took the president up on his offer.  A $1.6 million check to the federal treasury allows the Beehive State to reopen several economically important national parks and monuments.

Read more
NPR Story
2:14 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Wash. Schools Superintendent Proposes Taxes For Education

Randy Dorn
Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

Washington schools chief Randy Dorn says the time has come to raise taxes to increase funding for public education. And he’s prepared to lead the fight.

Dorn styles himself as a bit of a maverick. He says his job is to make adults uncomfortable. He recently gave the legislature a grade of "incomplete" for its first down payment on a Supreme Court decision that says Washington is not adequately funding public schools.

Read more
NPR Story
2:05 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Wash. Gun Background Check Supporters Submit Petitions

Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 4:16 pm

Sponsors of an initiative to require universal background checks for gun sales in Washington have submitted 250,000 petition signatures. That’s the minimum needed to put the measure before the legislature in January.

If lawmakers fail to act, voters would see it on the ballot a year from now.

Supporters of Initiative 594 cheered as boxes of petitions were rolled into the Washington Secretary of State’s office.

Wheeling the cart was Cheryl Stumbo. She’s a survivor of the 2006 Jewish Federation shooting in Seattle.

Read more

Pages