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. Austin’s 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.

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.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed a new two-year budget into law just before midnight Tuesday averting a partial government shutdown.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee will sign a new two-year budget into law Tuesday, just in time to avert a partial government shutdown.

Oregon shoppers and bottled water will remain untaxed in Washington’s next two-year budget, but a couple of other tax exemptions will be eliminated.

Washington’s gas tax would go up nearly 12 cents per gallon to fund road projects under a deal struck between Democrats and Republicans.

With a third special session underway, the Washington House and Senate plan to vote sometime Monday on a two-year budget.

If you have plans to visit a Washington State Park over the Fourth of July, Washington Gov. Inslee has a message for you.

“You’ll be able to go that park next weekend,” Inslee said. “I wouldn’t tell you that if I didn’t believe it was going to happen.”

Republican state lawmaker Maureen Walsh of Walla Walla, Washington, is celebrating Friday’s Supreme Court ruling that legalized gay marriage nationwide.

Washington lawmakers still have time to get a budget deal and avert a partial government shutdown July 1.

The state of Washington has sent email alerts to 26,000 state employees notifying them of temporary layoff.