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. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia." Prior to joining the Northwest News Network, Austin worked as a television reporter in Seattle, Portland and Boise. Austin is a graduate of Garfield High School in Seattle and Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut. His reporting has been recognized with awards from the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors, Public Radio News Directors Incorporated and the Society of Professional Journalists. Austin is the recipient of the 2016 Excellence in Journalism Award from the Washington State Association for Justice.

Efforts to turnaround Washington’s troubled Western State Hospital are taking longer than expected. The federal government this week granted yet another extension to give the state’s largest mental hospital more time to fix systemic problems.

In 2014, Washington voters approved Initiative 594 to require background checks for person-to-person gun sales. But the law has only resulted in two prosecutions.

Did Washington’s prepaid Guaranteed Education Tuition program give VIP service to state lawmakers with accounts?

A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear a challenge Monday to Washington’s voter-approved background check law for person-to-person gun transfers.

If you buy individual health insurance through Washington’s Health Benefit Exchange get ready for sticker shock. Rates will go up by an average of 24 percent next year.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee is criticizing President Donald Trump for comments on NFL players who protest during the national anthem.

 


The state of Washington will petition to join a lawsuit that challenges President Donald Trump’s ban on transgender people serving in the military, Democratic Governor Jay Inslee announced on  Monday.

 

Russian hackers attempted to penetrate Washington and Oregon’s voter registration systems last year. Top elections officials in both states received that confirmation Friday from the Department of Homeland Security.

People who buy individual health insurance in Washington state can expect another round of rate hikes next year.

“I’d say double-digit [increases] are almost a certainty,” state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler said in an interview Thursday on TVW’s “Inside Olympia” program.

Washington is the only state with legal marijuana that doesn’t allow home grows. There have been unsuccessful efforts to change that in recent years. Now the state’s Liquor and Cannabis Board is taking public comment on the issue through October 11.

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