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.

It took three overtime sessions and the threat of a government shutdown, but in the end a divided Washington Legislature found the will and the pathway to a compromise, passing a two-year, $43.7 billion budget, and the taxes to support it, that some lawmakers say will solve a generational problem—the ample funding of public schools. 



If you have a reservation at a Washington state park this weekend or you rely on state services, you can breathe a sigh of relief. Washington lawmakers have passed a nearly $44 billion, two-year budget, averting an imminent government shutdown.

Despite what state lawmakers say, Washington’s next budget doesn’t fully fund schools. That’s the opinion of the lawyer who sued the state in 2007 over school funding.

Attorney Thomas Ahearne said it’s not enough money and it doesn’t get to the schools fast enough.

Details are emerging about the budget Washington state lawmakers plan to pass before midnight Friday. Over the next four years, schools in Washington will get more than $7 billion in additional state funds.

Much of that money will come from a hike in the state property tax.

Washington lawmakers have reached agreement on a budget just in time to avert a government shutdown. The deal was announced Wednesday morning, but details have yet to be released.

There’s still no word of a budget deal in the Washington state Capitol. And a partial government shutdown is just days away. Yet lawmakers remain optimistic.

After weeks of deadlock, Washington lawmakers could be close to reaching an agreement in principle on a state budget, House and Senate budget writers said on Friday.

For the second time in less than a year, the state of Washington has been sanctioned for failing to turn over evidence in a civil court case.

Unless lawmakers can agree on a budget, the state of Washington is just days away from a first-ever government shutdown. Gov. Jay Inslee Wednesday called a third special session and demanded that House Democrats and Senate Republicans get to the table and get a deal.

If Washington lawmakers don’t pass a state budget by June 30, the state will go into a partial government shutdown. And the impacts would be significant.

So what would that look like?

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