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 state of Washington has agreed to pay a record amount to settle a case of child abuse and neglect.

This summer’s Carlton Complex wildfire was the largest in Washington history. Scores of firefighters battled the inferno in north Central Washington.

Political Action Committees in Washington have spent more than $14 million so far this year. The top spenders are teachers, trial lawyers, SEIU and a business PAC called Enterprise Washington.

The state of Washington is going back to federal court over clean-up at Hanford -- the nation’s largest nuclear waste site.

The Republican State Leadership Committee, a national Republican group with a focus on “down ballot” races, is pumping money into Washington state.

The National Rifle Association says it’s “very committed” to defeating a background check measure on Washington’s November ballot.

This November, Washington voters will decide whether to require background checks for person-to-person gun sales.

One the ringleaders of a sprawling West Coast drug and gun trafficking ring has been sentenced to 27 years in federal prison.

The Washington Education Association has taken in $1.5 million this year, making it the head of the pack when it comes to money raised by political action committees.

People are lining up to buy legal marijuana in Washington state. Now the question is how to convince kids not to touch the stuff.

California billionaire and climate activist Tom Steyer has dumped $1 million into Washington state.

An annual report released Tuesday revealed that Washington paid a total of $48 million in tort claim payments last fiscal year to people who were somehow harmed by the state.

Six months after 43 people lost their lives in the Oso landslide, nearly 60 legal claims have been filed against the state of Washington.

The 2014 election is about six weeks away. That means campaigns are kicking into high gear and asking their funders to help them cross the finish line.

So far this year, business interests have contributed more than $16 million to political campaigns and committees in Washington.

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