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. 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."

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Marijuana Rules
3:59 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Washington Issues Proposed Marijuana Rules

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 3:34 pm

Washington’s Liquor Control Board has issued 46-pages of proposed rules for the new, legal recreational marijuana market. They cover everything from product labeling requirements to whether someone who’s been in trouble with the law can get a license to grow, process or sell marijuana.

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Marijuana Rulebook
5:17 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Marijuana Quality Control Bible Nearing Completion

American Herbal Pharmacopoeia

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 5:00 pm

Entrepreneurs who hope to cash in on legal marijuana will have some heavy reading to do Thursday. That’s when Washington’s Liquor Control Board is expected to release nearly 50 pages of proposed rules for growers, processors and retailers.

But it turns out that there’s another pot rulebook that’s also in development. It’s called the Cannabis Monograph. Think of it as an illustrated bible for pot quality control.

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Computer Security
4:56 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Washington Courts Seek IT Security Review, Audit Following Breach

Wikimedia

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 4:50 pm

Washington’s court system will hire an outside expert to perform a computer security review and audit. The move follows a hacking incident – revealed last week - that exposed nearly a hundred Social Security numbers and perhaps up to a million driver license numbers. But now there’s another cyber security concern at Washington Courts.

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Washington Special Session Agenda
4:48 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Washington Governor Narrows Special Session Agenda

Cacophony Wikimedia

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 4:36 pm

The Washington legislature is back in session – for a 30-day extra inning. Washington Governor Jay Inslee Monday narrowed his agenda to three key items: the budget, a roads-and- transit funding package and a crackdown on impaired drivers.

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Fictitious Driver Licenses
4:35 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

US Attorney Blocks Release Of Information On CIA Driver Licenses

Washington Department of Licensing

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 4:20 pm

The US Attorney in Seattle has stepped in to block the release of information about a once-secret program under which fictitious driver licenses were issued by the state of Washington. In a letter to the state, Jenny Durkan’s office says the documents are “classified national security information.”

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Hacking Incident
3:36 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Washington Courts Announce Potential Massive Data Breach

Cacophony Wikimedia

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 3:20 pm

A hacking incident involving Washington’s court system could affect upwards of a million people. The Administrative Office of the Courts announced that hackers breached its public website sometime last fall or early this year and social security and potentially driver license numbers were accessed.

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Washington Budget
4:09 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Washington Budget Talks Slow, But Governor Sees Progress

Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 4:06 pm

Washington’s special session begins next Monday. But at this point it seems unlikely House and Senate budget negotiators will be close to a deal. Governor Jay Inslee said both sides agreed Tuesday on some common assumptions about the next two year budget.

Inslee spoke at the end of a bill signing ceremony. For now he’s measuring progress in these budget negotiations by the week, not the day. A budget is made up of hundreds if not thousands of assumptions about how much something will or won’t cost. How much a cut will or won’t save.

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May Day Olympia
6:55 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Police And May Day Protestors Face-Off In Olympia

Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 11:19 am

In Olympia, May Day protesters faced-off with police in riot gear Wednesday night. But the two sides did not clash. A group of about 50 mostly young people – some of them wearing face masks - marched for more than an hour through the streets of downtown Olympia, disrupting traffic.

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May Day March
5:05 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

Olympia May Day March Remains Peaceful

Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 4:33 pm

A May Day march in Olympia remained peaceful Wednesday. Protesters had planned what they called a “shut down the banks” party.

There were about 60 marchers. Some of them wore bandanas to disguise their identifies, although most went without. They marched through the streets of downtown Olympia and tied up some traffic. They passed by some of the corporate bank branches in downtown Olympia -- Chase, Bank of America, and U.S. Bank. But there was no vandalism or property damage.

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Washington Lobbyists
7:05 am
Wed May 1, 2013

The Influence Game: Wining And Dining Washington Lawmakers After Hours

Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 4:39 pm

In the first three months of this year, lobbyists in Washington state spent more than $200,000 on entertainment. Much of that money was spent to wine and dine state lawmakers during the just-concluded 105-day session. But what are lobbyists and their clients getting in exchange for picking up the tab?

After the legislative day ends up at the Capitol, it’s pretty common for some of the players to decamp. They go to one of a handful of usually higher-end Olympia establishments. This is where – over a meal, perhaps a bottle of Washington wine – the work continues.

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