Austin Jenkins

Olympia Correspondent

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.

Pages

Oso Deputy Honored
5:11 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

Oso Hero Deputy Honored With Officer Of The Year Award

Snohomish County Sheriff's Deputy Glen Bergstrom receives the ''officer of the year'' medal from Lt. Governor Brad Owen.
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Fri January 16, 2015 3:29 pm

A Snohomish County Sheriff’s Deputy has been named “officer of the year” for his actions in the aftermath of the Oso landslide.

Read more
Open-Carry Ban
5:05 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

Washington Senate Bans Open-Carry Guns In Public Galleries

The signs outside the Washington House and Senate public viewing galleries make it clear what is not allowed inside. The list includes umbrellas, backpacks and strollers, but not firearms.
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Fri January 16, 2015 5:10 pm

Umbrellas, strollers and backpacks were already banned from the public viewing galleries in the Washington House and Senate.

Read more
Lakewood Police Killings
5:36 pm
Thu January 15, 2015

Getaway Driver In Lakewood Police Shootings Wins New Trial

Dorcus Dewayne Allen drove Maurice Clemmons to and from the scene of the Thanksgiving weekend shooting at a coffee shop. He will receive a new trial.
Credit Ted S. Warren / AP Images

The getaway driver in the 2009 killings of four Lakewood police officers will receive a new trial. That was the unanimous decision Thursday of the Washington Supreme Court.

Read more
Gun Rights
3:58 pm
Thu January 15, 2015

Tense Moments As Gun Rights Rally Spills Into Washington House Gallery

Jason McMillon was threatened with removal and arrest from the Washington House gallery for the ''tactical'' manner he was carrying his military-style pistol.
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 5:04 pm

Guns are allowed in the Washington state Capitol, but state law makes it illegal to carry a firearm in a manner designed to intimidate.

Read more
Port Slowdown
4:13 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

Washington Lawmakers Get Earful On Fallout From West Coast Ports Dispute

Ayda D Wikimedia

Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 3:21 pm

A popular gift now for Chinese New Year is a box of red apples from Washington. But Northwest shippers say a labor dispute at West Coast ports is jeopardizing that lucrative overseas market.

Read more
Government And Politics
5:14 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

Inslee's State Of The State Highlights Partisan Split In Legislature

Colin Fogarty Northwest News Network

Originally published on Tue January 13, 2015 4:38 pm

Washington Governor Jay Inslee said the state is at a crossroads and it’s time to reinvest.

Read more
Government And Politics
5:12 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

Inslee To Push Carbon Emissions Reduction

Governor Jay Inslee pushed for his proposed carbon emissions reduction plan in his state of the state speech Tuesday.
Credit Ted S. Warren / Associated Press

Washington Governor Jay Inslee urged the state legislature to assess a fee on carbon polluters.

The Democrat Tuesday used his state of the state speech to push for his proposed carbon emissions reduction plan.

“We have a moral obligation to act. Our moral duty is to protect a birthright. Future Washingtonians deserve a healthy Washington,” Inslee said.

Inslee’s plan drew applause from Democrats. But Republicans appear cool to the idea.

Read more
Government and Politics
5:48 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

Washington Senate Opens With Democratic Insurgency

Although majority Republicans wanted to re-elect Sheldon as President Pro Tem, Pam Roach won the position when nominated by minority Democrats.
Credit Elaine Thompson / Associated Press

Republicans control the Washington Senate. But  Monday’s start of the 2015 session featured a Democratic insurgency. It happened when Republicans tried to re-elect Senator Tim Sheldon as President Pro Tem of the Senate.

Sheldon is a Democrat who in 2012 joined with Republicans to help them take control of the Washington Senate.

Majority Republicans wanted to re-elect Sheldon to the position when suddenly minority Democrats nominated a Republican. And not just any Republican: Senator Pam Roach who’s been a lightning rod over the years.

In the end Roach won.

Read more
Senate Tax Rule
5:10 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

New Taxes Will Require Two-Thirds Vote In Washington Senate

A rule that requires a two-thirds vote to bring proposals for new taxes to the floor was adopted Monday by the Washington Senate.
Credit Aspaschen / Wikimedia

The Republican-controlled Washington Senate has voted to make it harder to approve new forms of taxation.

The Senate Monday narrowly adopted a rule that requires a two-thirds vote to bring proposals for new taxes to the floor for a final vote. Republican Joe Fain defended the rule change.

"It only would impact things like a capital gains tax or an income tax or a radical change to our tax structure in this state which I think, reasonably, should require a higher threshold from this chamber if we’re going to do so,” Fain said.

Read more
NPR Story
3:12 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

Gridlock Or Compromise? Divided Washington Legislature Set To Convene

The Washington legislature convenes Monday for a 105-day budget-writing session.
Apaschen Wikimedia

Originally published on Fri January 9, 2015 5:58 pm

School funding, a roads-and-transit package and medical marijuana are among the hot topics as the Washington legislature convenes Monday.

Read more

Pages