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."

Backers of a crowdfunding project from 2012 say they’re suddenly receiving the product they were promised.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson has won a $55,000 judgment against the backer of a Kickstarter campaign that failed to deliver. 

The state of Washington is under a federal court order to address the issue of mentally ill inmates languishing in jail. But the problem has actually gotten worse, not better.

Washington’s Liquor Control Board is getting a new name. Friday it will become the Liquor and Cannabis Board.

Farms and fish aren’t the only ones suffering from Northwest drought conditions. So are trees and plants on Washington’s 435-acre Capitol campus.

Medical marijuana and veterans activists plan to march in Olympia Wednesday to celebrate the addition of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury to the list of conditions that qualify for medical cannabis in Washington.

It was a record-long legislative session in Washington. But the number of bills that actually became law was quite few – comparatively.

Before they left town, Washington lawmakers approved a nearly $4 billion capital construction budget. That includes $130 million in member-requested projects – what you might call pork.

The death of his prized horse has a Washington state lawmaker warning about a noxious weed that’s spreading in the Northwest. That weed is toxic to horses and can have a gruesome effect on their hooves.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed into law Tuesday a four-year suspension of a voter-approved class size measure. He also signed a two-year delay of a biology test graduation requirement.

The Washington state Senate voted Thursday afternoon to delay a voter-approved class size measure and a biology test high school graduation requirement.

Washington Senate Republicans have agreed to suspend a biology exam requirement that’s keeping nearly 2,000 high school students from graduating.

Typically, the Washington legislature is done long before Oregon because of how the legislative calendars work in each state. But not this year.

Billionaire Paul Allen wants wildlife traffickers to feel a bit more pain. Professional initiative sponsor Tim Eyman wants state lawmakers to feel a bit of pain too.

The Washington state Senate Wednesday morning failed to muster a two-thirds vote to suspend a voter-approved class size reduction measure. That could put a $2 billion hole in the freshly passed two-year budget.

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