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."

According to numbers out Wednesday, the number of people out of work and looking for jobs is returning to pre-recession levels in the Northwest.

  The two, unarmed black men shot by a white Olympia police officer early Thursday morning are expected to survive.

Olympia Mayor Stephen Buxbaum said he expects a “respectful” and non-violent response to the shooting of two unarmed black men by a white police officer.

One day after the state got a favorable revenue forecast, Washington Governor Jay Inslee said he no longer believes the $1.4 billion tax package he proposed in December is necessary.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee has signed several new mental health laws in recent days. The question is whether they will be funded.

Marijuana sales and a recovering housing market should help boost Washington tax collections by more than $300 million over the next two years.

Washington’s 30-day special session is more than half over and there is still no sign of a budget deal.

Mentally ill inmates continue to languish in Washington jails despite a recent federal judge’s ruling that the practice is unconstitutional.

It’s been nearly two years since Joel Reuter fired a pistol from his condo balcony and was shot to death by Seattle police. Thursday, Governor Jay Inslee signed “Joel’s Law.”

Washington lawmakers are taking heat for an 11 percent pay raise they didn’t ask for.

By 2018, the state of Washington should have a treasure trove of data on the cost and quality of health care.

Why would someone who had been accused of financial misdeeds run for political office? That’s a recurring question in the case of indicted Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley.

The first-term Democrat is accused of corrupt business practices and tax evasion -- allegations that have dogged him since before he ran for statewide office.

Now, Kelley has pleaded not guilty to federal charges and is on leave.

An impressive résumé

Washington Speaker of the House Frank Chopp said “now is not the time” to try to impeach indicted State Auditor Troy Kelley and that it would be a distraction.

Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley was elected to root out waste and fraud in state and local government. Now, the first-term Democrat faces federal charges that he defrauded escrow company customers and the IRS.

Prom season means many high school students will be dancing on their way to prom aboard party buses.

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