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.

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Democrats in the Washington state House have passed a $12 per hour minimum wage measure. The increase would phase-in over four years.

Skipping school is not a crime in Washington state, but it can still land a student behind bars.

The Republican-led Washington Senate Monday approved a nearly 12-cents-per-gallon gas tax increase phased in over three years.

In January, the Washington state Senate adopted a rule requiring that new taxes pass the Senate by a two-thirds vote. Monday Lt. Governor Brad Owen tossed it out.

Owen said the super majority threshold runs afoul of the state constitution. Owen pointed to a 2013 Washington Supreme Court ruling that overturned a voter-approved super majority requirement for tax hikes.

Washington lawmakers are approaching the halfway mark of their 105-day session. Hot issues include marijuana, mental health, oil trains and cap-and-trade.

Washington lawmakers are in contempt of court over school funding. But it’s a couple of non-funding issues that could create a partisan rift.

Washington state lawmakers are more than a third of the way through their 105-day legislative session.

The case of an infant who nearly died from severe abuse has captured the attention of Washington lawmakers. The child’s adoptive parents testified Tuesday in favor a proposed law named in their son’s honor.

Washington lawmakers are considering whether to beef up oversight of the “party bus” industry. At a public hearing Monday, the head of the state agency that regulates in-state bus lines said it’s a matter of safety.

If you ordered flowers for Valentine’s Day, do you know where the company that took your order is located? A proposal in the Washington legislature would beef up an existing law that prohibits florists from misrepresenting their location.

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