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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Education Funding
5:01 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Washington Legislature Strikes Budget Deal

Colin Fogarty Northwest News Network

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 2:38 pm

In a new budget deal, Washington public schools will get nearly an additional $60 million, but teachers will not get a cost of living raise this year.

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Government
8:41 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Facing Ethics Charge, Washington Lt. Gov. Wants Legal Defense Fund

Washington Lieutenant Governor Brad Owen
State of Washington

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 3:43 pm

In the 1990s an embattled President Clinton created a legal defense fund. Now, four-term Washington Lt. Gov. Brad Owen wants all state elected officials to have that option.

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Government Transparency
8:36 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Lobbyist-Paid Meals Legislation Appears To Die In Washington Statehouse

Robert S. Donovan Flickr

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 4:15 pm

It looks like Washington lawmakers may adjourn their 60-day legislative session without addressing the issue of lobbyist-paid entertainment.

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Government
8:40 am
Mon March 10, 2014

End In Sight For Washington Legislature, But Still Plenty Of Work To Do

Colin Fogarty Northwest News Network

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 3:52 pm

Washington lawmakers are in the home stretch – or at least they hope they are. The current 60-day session is supposed to adjourn this coming Thursday.

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Education
8:21 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Inslee, Teachers' Union Clash Over Evaluation Measure

File photo. Washington Governor Jay Inslee has made the case for a controversial teacher evaluation bill.
biologycorner Flickr

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 3:12 pm

They supported his campaign, but now some unionized teachers in Washington have stern words for Governor Jay Inslee.

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Economy
7:43 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Washington Recoups Great Recession Job Losses, With Caveat

Andreas Klinke Johannsen Flickr

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 2:52 pm

It took four years, but Washington has now recovered more jobs than it lost during the Great Recession.

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Politics
7:42 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Washington Insurance Commissioner: Premera 'Guts' Consumer Protection Bill

Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler
Washington OIC

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 3:38 pm

Washington’s Insurance Commissioner wants to notify consumers if their insurance company is on the verge of bankruptcy.

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Politics
8:41 am
Tue March 4, 2014

Washington Gas Tax Debate Breeds Partisan Mistrust In Legislature

Kristen Steele Flickr

Originally published on Mon March 3, 2014 3:35 pm

The debate over a gas tax hike has revved up again in the Washington legislature.

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Income Inequality
8:45 am
Mon March 3, 2014

Washington House Speaker: Minimum Wage Hike Not Ready For Vote

Washington Speaker of the House Frank Chopp
Washington Legislature

Originally published on Sun March 2, 2014 10:15 am

Washington Speaker of the House Frank Chopp supports a minimum wage hike, but he says the issue wasn’t ready for a vote on the House floor this year.

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Climate Change
8:45 am
Mon March 3, 2014

Inslee Prepares To Make Moral Case For Carbon Reduction

File photo of Washington Governor Jay Inslee
GovInslee Flickr

Originally published on Sun March 2, 2014 10:23 am

Washington Governor Jay Inslee is preparing to take action on an issue that could secure his legacy -- or complicate his re-election chances.

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Government
8:38 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Washington Legislature On Collision Course Over Tax Breaks

Cacophony Wikimedia

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 3:01 pm

The final two weeks of the Washington legislature may come down to a battle over tax breaks.

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Government
8:43 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Washington Senate Democrats Target Tax Exemptions To Fund Schools

File photo of the Washington Senate chamber.
Lincolnite Wikimedia

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 3:30 pm

Minority Democrats in the Washington Senate want to tax oil refineries, bottled water, prescription drug resellers and out-of-state shoppers.

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Marijuana Legalization
8:43 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Pot Tax Revenue Estimates Likely Hazy

Wikimedia

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 2:37 pm

Within the next year, marijuana taxes will start arriving in Washington state coffers. But how much money can the state realistically expect to take in from legal, recreational pot sales?

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Government
8:38 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Washington Senate Includes Nearly Two Dozen Tax Breaks In Budget Plan

File photo of the Washington State Capitol Building
Wikimedia

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 7:37 am

The Washington Senate is proposing the creation or extension of nearly two dozen tax breaks -- mostly for businesses.

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Income Inequality
8:48 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Inslee Explores Minimum Wage Hike For State Workers, Contractors

Governor Jay Inslee
Jay Inslee's Facebook page.

President Obama recently ordered a minimum wage increase for federal contractors. Now Washington Governor Jay Inslee says he may consider a similar executive order at the state level.

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