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.

The fate of Washington’s 2016 presidential primary could hinge on a vote Tuesday. That’s when the state’s Presidential Primary Committee will meet to decide whether to move the primary up from May to March.

The frontlines of child protection in Washington are about to get a boost. The new state budget funds more than 40 new caseworker positions.

One of the most prominent guitar makers in the country unknowingly purchased poached bigleaf maple taken from a national forest in southwest Washington state. That’s according to a federal indictment unsealed in Seattle this week.

Firefighters are still on the scene of a quick-moving blaze that burned five homes in rural Mason County, Washington, on Friday. The destruction is evidence of dry conditions even on the west side of the Cascades.

State lawmakers from around the country will descend on Seattle the week of August 3 for a national legislative summit.

The state of Washington is on a hiring spree for forensic psychologists. They’re needed to help address a backlog of mentally ill jail inmates whose competency to stand trial is in question.

Backers of a crowdfunding project from 2012 say they’re suddenly receiving the product they were promised.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson has won a $55,000 judgment against the backer of a Kickstarter campaign that failed to deliver. 

The state of Washington is under a federal court order to address the issue of mentally ill inmates languishing in jail. But the problem has actually gotten worse, not better.

Washington’s Liquor Control Board is getting a new name. Friday it will become the Liquor and Cannabis Board.

Farms and fish aren’t the only ones suffering from Northwest drought conditions. So are trees and plants on Washington’s 435-acre Capitol campus.

Medical marijuana and veterans activists plan to march in Olympia Wednesday to celebrate the addition of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury to the list of conditions that qualify for medical cannabis in Washington.

It was a record-long legislative session in Washington. But the number of bills that actually became law was quite few – comparatively.

Before they left town, Washington lawmakers approved a nearly $4 billion capital construction budget. That includes $130 million in member-requested projects – what you might call pork.

The death of his prized horse has a Washington state lawmaker warning about a noxious weed that’s spreading in the Northwest. That weed is toxic to horses and can have a gruesome effect on their hooves.