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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Outgoing Governor's Advice
4:39 pm
Thu October 25, 2012

Gregoire To Candidates: 'Sounds Good, Doesn't Work'

Outgoing Washington Governor Chris Gregoire says campaign rhetoric doesn’t match budget reality.
Credit Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Outgoing Washington Governor Chris Gregoire has a message for the candidates to replace her: “sounds good, doesn’t work.” That’s Gregoire’s take on several of the budget-balancing ideas she’s hearing from fellow Democrat Jay Inslee and Republican Rob McKenna.

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Education Tax
4:05 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Gregoire Will Propose Education Tax Before Leaving Office

Gov. Chris Gregoire says she will propose a new source of funding for public schools before she leaves office in January.
Northwest News Network

Both candidates for Washington governor have said “no” to higher taxes. But, outgoing Gov. Chris Gregoire says she will propose a new source of funding for public schools before she leaves office in January.

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Washington Governor Strategy
6:22 am
Wed October 24, 2012

Even With No Electoral College, Statewide Races Have Math To Victory

Photo of Washington State Seal.
Photo Credit: U.S. Government/Wikimedia Commons

In the presidential race, we hear a lot about the electoral map and the math to winning the presidency. It’s all about swing states like Ohio and Florida. At the state level, there’s no electoral college. The candidate with the most votes wins. But there’s still a formula for victory.

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Concerns Over Governor's Appointment
6:07 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Wash. Governor Appointed State Senator Despite Staff Concerns

Washington Republicans have released documents that show Gov. Chris Gregoire appointed a state senator to a $92,000-a-year job, despite concerns that the senator wasn’t qualified for the position. This is just the latest development in a political drama touched off by the appointment.

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Purple Hearts Awarded
6:46 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Five Wash. Soldiers With Brain Injuries Receive Purple Hearts

Five Washington soldiers with brain injuries are awarded a Purple Heart in a ceremony at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
Photo by Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Five Washington-based soldiers with Traumatic Brain Injuries have received the Purple Heart. They were honored Monday at a ceremony at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. In 2011, the Army issued new standards for awarding Purple Hearts to soldiers with brain injuries. Correspondent Austin Jenkins reports.

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Political Campaigns
4:05 pm
Mon October 22, 2012

Campaigns Know If You’ve Voted -- And That’s Not All

Volunteers all over the country are working the phones to remind likely voters to support their candidates.
Steve Rhodes Flickr

In this era of mail-in balloting, political campaigns have become a bit like Santa Claus: he may know if you’ve been bad or good, but they know whether you’ve voted yet or not - and who you’re likely to support.

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Local Bridge Toll
5:17 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

One Washington City Considers Local Bridge Toll

Some drivers will go miles out of their way to avoid the toll on the 520 floating bridge.
WSDOT Flickr

There’s a lot of talk these days about tolls to pay for new state highway projects and bridges. Most drivers reluctantly pay up. But some will go miles out of their way to avoid a toll. That can clog local roads. Now one small Washington city is considering a toll of its own.

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Wash. Governor Candidates
5:03 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

One-On-One With Washington's Candidates For Governor

Democrat Jay Inslee
Christina Salerno TVW

Ballots are arriving in the mail. And a new poll shows the race for Washington governor is a virtual dead heat. Whoever is elected will inherit a budget shortfall along with a court order to spend more on education.

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Ore. Juvenile Killers
6:06 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

Four Of 'Oregon Five' Juvenile Killers Go Before Parole Board

Sterling Cunio, one of the "Oregon Five."
Oregon Dept. of Corrections

Four years ago we brought you a story about five juvenile killers in Oregon. They received harsher sentences than some adult murderers because of what the state has called a “legal glitch.” Wednesday four of the so-called “Oregon Five” went before the state parole board.

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Final Wash. Gov. Debate
6:23 am
Wed October 17, 2012

Personal Attacks Punctuate Final Wash. Governor Debate

Democrat Jay Inslee and Republican Rob McKenna meet in Seattle for the final gubernatorial debate before the election. Photo courtesy The Seattle Times / Bettina Hansen.

The fifth and final debate between Washington’s candidates for governor was punctuated by personal attacks. Democrat Jay Inslee and Republican Rob McKenna met in Seattle Tuesday night. The format encouraged them to engage each other.

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