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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Marijuana
8:42 am
Fri February 21, 2014

Pot Legalization: What Can Washington Learn From End Of Prohibition?

file photo

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 7:16 am

This summer marijuana stores will open for business across Washington.

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Education & Immigration
8:44 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Washington Legislature Sends 'Real Hope' Act To Governor

Republican State Sen. Barbara Bailey celebrates with students following final passage of the “Real Hope Act.”
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 8:11 am

A late vote in the Washington legislature has the children of immigrants cheering - literally.

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Marijuana Regulation
8:41 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Washington Liquor Board Rolls Back How Much Pot Producers Can Grow

File photo
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 4:49 pm

Applicants to grow recreational pot in Washington could have their state licenses in hand two weeks from now.

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Marijuana Legalization
8:38 am
Tue February 18, 2014

State Regulator: Pot Banking Guidance Should Solve 'Bags Of Money' Issue

Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 2:32 pm

Marijuana businesses in Washington may soon be able to open a bank account. 

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Income Inequality
8:31 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Why Are Democrats Suddenly Talking About Minimum Wage?

Talk of raising the minimum wage has been spreading in Washington's Capitol building.
Colin Fogarty

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 7:40 am

We’re hearing a lot these days about raising the minimum wage.

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Washington State Legislature
9:07 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Washington Senate Majority Unveils New Gas Tax Package, Votes Lacking

File photo of the Washington State Capitol Building
Colin Fogarty Northwest News Network

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 5:09 pm

Members of the mostly Republican majority in the Washington Senate say they want to jumpstart talks on a gas tax package to fund roads and transit. Previous negotiations stalled out in December.

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Death Penalty
9:02 am
Wed February 12, 2014

For One Family, Inslee’s Moratorium Has ‘Reopened A Lot Of Wounds’

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Governor Jay Inslee’s announcement of a de facto moratorium on the death penalty on Tuesday has been making waves through the state.

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Education & Immigration
8:38 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Republican Senator Pushes Back On College Aid For Undocumented Students

Washington state Senator Janea Holmquist Newbry
Washington Legislature

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 9:34 am

A bipartisan plan in the Washington legislature to give undocumented students access to college aid is coming under fire.

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Education & Immigration
8:48 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Washington Lawmakers Underfund Promise Of 'Real Hope' And 'Dreams'

Rachel Irish is a 35-year old pre-nursing student at South Puget Sound Technical College.

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 3:24 pm

The state of Washington could soon become the fourth in the nation -- after California, Texas and New Mexico -- to allow the children of illegal immigrants to qualify for state-funded college financial aid.

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Government
8:39 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Divergent Agendas As Washington Legislature Approaches Halfway Point

File photo of the Washington State Capitol Building
Colin Fogarty Northwest News Network

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 4:42 pm

Washington’s 60-day legislative session is approaching the halfway mark, but divergent agendas are likely to result in a lot of proposals dying when they cross the Rotunda to the other chamber.

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Religion
8:35 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Faith Healing Exemption Gets Scrutiny In Washington Legislature

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 9:13 am

Christian Scientists who treat their sick children with faith healing, instead of medical care, have special protection under Washington law. But that could soon change.

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Two-Way Radio
8:43 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Dead Air, Garbled Transmissions Trouble Washington Troopers

One of the new Washington State Patrol portable radios by Motorola. It’s a digital radio to replace the previous analog system.
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 4:12 pm

For most of us, our smartphones have become our figurative lifelines. For state troopers their literal lifeline is still the two-way radio.

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Lethal Injection
8:35 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Execution Witnesses In Washington To See Needle Insertion

File photo of the execution chamber at San Quentin. A camera in the execution chamber at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla will record more of more of the execution process.
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 6:02 pm

The next time a death row inmate is executed by lethal injection in Washington state, witnesses will see more of the process.

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Tax Breaks
9:22 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Washington Governor Makes Another Push To Close Tax Exemptions

File photo of Washington Governor Jay Inslee
Christina Salerno TVW

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 4:48 pm

Washington Governor Jay Inslee continued his push on Tuesday for lawmakers to close tax exemptions to fund education.

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Politics
10:39 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Washington Considers Private 'Pay-For-Success' Investments To Fund Public Programs

Wall Street may help fill gaps in state funding for human services programs.
Flickr Photo/htmvalerio

Someday in the not too distant future, social service programs in the Northwest could get funding from Wall Street.

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