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."

Washington Governor Jay Inslee is defending his call for higher taxes in 2015. The Democrat reacted Thursday to criticism from Republican lawmakers.

Marijuana will be among the top agenda items when the Washington legislature convenes Monday.

Washington voters would prefer no new taxes and no deep cuts to state services. But if that’s not possible, they’re open to some new taxes.

The Washington legislature convenes next Monday for a 105-day session. Transportation funding is one of the top agenda items.

The day after Christmas is the deadline for the state of Washington to end a practice known as psychiatric “boarding.”

Voters have legalized recreational marijuana in Washington and Oregon, but police continue to find illegal marijuana grows on public lands.

If you live in Washington state and you like your license plates, starting January 1, you’ll get to keep them.

Across the Northwest, some families will spend Christmas in rented mobile homes where the living conditions are marginal at best and dangerous at worst.

Washington’s new voter-approved background check law appears to have prevented the sale of a rifle to a man with a warrant out for his arrest.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee said Thursday, "it is time to reinvest in Washington." He proposed that the state adopt a new capital-gains tax to help fund a $39 billion two-year budget that would prioritize education, union-negotiated pay raises for state employees, and avoid what the Democratic governor calls “devastating” cuts to corrections, higher education and social services.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee has been on a three-day road show to showcase his plans for education, transportation and climate change.

The state of Washington has good cyber security standards, but state agencies don’t always adhere to those standards.

Several hundred gun rights activists rallied at Washington’s capitol Saturday to protest the new voter-approved law that requires background checks for person-to-person gun sales and transfers. Most participants in the "I Will Not Comply" rally were openly carrying handguns or rifles or both.

A foil-wrapped secret room is a plausible use for unused portions of Washington’s new data center. That’s according to a national expert on what Time Magazine has dubbed “spy-proof rooms.”

The state of Washington is preparing for as many as 6,000 gun-rights advocates to attend a rally at the Capitol on Saturday.

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