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
2:15 pm
Tue January 6, 2015

Elway Poll Suggests Washington Voters Open To Higher Taxes

A new Elway Poll suggests that Washington voters are open to some new taxes.
Elway Research

Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 3:14 pm

Washington voters would prefer no new taxes and no deep cuts to state services. But if that’s not possible, they’re open to some new taxes.

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NPR Story
3:46 pm
Mon January 5, 2015

Transportation Funding Fight Looms In Washington Legislature

Brianhe Wikimedia

The Washington legislature convenes next Monday for a 105-day session. Transportation funding is one of the top agenda items.

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NPR Story
5:37 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

Despite Legalization, Illegal Marijuana Grows Continue On Public Lands

Wikimedia

Voters have legalized recreational marijuana in Washington and Oregon, but police continue to find illegal marijuana grows on public lands.

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NPR Story
5:17 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

Starting Friday, Mental Health 'Boarding' No Longer Allowed In Washington

National Institute of Mental Health

The day after Christmas is the deadline for the state of Washington to end a practice known as psychiatric “boarding.”

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NPR Story
5:16 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

A Look Back At 2014 In Washington Politics, Elections and Legislature

Gun-rights advocates gathered at the Washington Capitol in December to protest the state's new voter-approved background check law.
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

As 2014 winds down, let’s take a look back at some of the bigger stories in Washington politics, elections and at the legislature.

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NPR Story
4:44 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Jump Start: Washington Lawmakers Pre-File Bills Ahead Of January Session

The Holiday Tree in the Washington Capitol Rotunda will be replaced by lobbyists and school tour groups come January when the legislature convenes.

Washington’s 2015 legislative session doesn’t start until January 12, but already lawmakers have pre-filed dozens of proposed laws.

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NPR Story
3:37 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

New Year Brings New License Plate Options, Replacement Rule In Washington

The Washington state Department of Licensing will offer two new special design plates in 2015.

If you live in Washington state and you like your license plates, starting January 1, you’ll get to keep them.

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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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