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."

The election is over, but not the political fundraising. Washington state lawmakers are racing the clock to replenish their coffers before the freeze.

This January, Washington State University plans to ask lawmakers for permission to open a medical school in Spokane.

Washington’s budget outlook is suddenly $2 billion in the red largely because of a class size reduction measure just approved by the voters.

In Washington, D.C., there’s a waiting period before members of Congress and their staffers can work as lobbyists.

To raise taxes, or not raises taxes? That is the question. Washington Democrats have been hinting at yes. Republicans like Senate budget chair Andy Hill say it’s a last resort.

Astroturfing is when interest groups run a campaign that’s designed to look like it’s grassroots in nature.

The Washington State Patrol has ticketed the driver of an oversize load that collapsed the Skagit River Bridge in May of 2013.

Washington state is 125 years old. There was a celebration Tuesday at the state capitol. It featured an historic reenactment, a time capsule ceremony and, of course, cake.

Voter turnout in Washington state was not just low this year -- it could be a 36-year low.

Washington voters are narrowly passing a class-size measure that comes with a multi-billion dollar price tag.

Kenneth Bae of Lynnwood, Wash., was free for the first time since 2012 when he landed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord south of Seattle Saturday night.

“It’s been an amazing two years,” he told reporters.

In 2012, Bae was sentenced in Pyongyang to 15 years hard labor, convicted of a Christian conspiracy to overthrow the North Korean government. Attempts by the Obama administration to secure his release were unsuccessful until last week.

AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

Sole Repair, a cozy venue on Capitol Hill, erupted in cheers on Tuesday night when the child care results came in – a whopping 67 percent supporting the initiative to expand child care subsidies in the city.

The campaigns are winding down and the ballot counting is about to begin. But in Washington state, we may not know the results of close races until later this week.

Washington Democrats appear to have failed in their bid to retake control of the state Senate. Republicans were also poised to pick up seats in the Democratically-controlled Washington House.

Washington voters have overwhelmingly approved a ballot measure to expand background checks for person-to-person gun sales and transfers.

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