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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College Grants
4:01 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Washington Lawmakers Underfund Promise Of 'Real Hope' And 'Dreams'

Rachel Irish is a 35-year old pre-nursing student at South Puget Sound Technical College.

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 3:24 pm

The state of Washington could soon become the fourth in the nation -- after California, Texas and New Mexico -- to allow the children of illegal immigrants to qualify for state-funded college financial aid.

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Washington Legislature
5:13 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Divergent Agendas As Washington Legislature Approaches Halfway Point

File photo of the Washington State Capitol Building
Colin Fogarty Northwest News Network

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 4:42 pm

Washington’s 60-day legislative session is approaching the halfway mark, but divergent agendas are likely to result in a lot of proposals dying when they cross the Rotunda to the other chamber.

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Faith Healing
5:03 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Faith Healing Exemption Gets Scrutiny In Washington Legislature

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 9:13 am

Christian Scientists who treat their sick children with faith healing, instead of medical care, have special protection under Washington law. But that could soon change.

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Closed Businesses
6:33 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Battered Coastal Paper Mill Now Faces Demolition

Harbor Paper in Hoquiam reopened in October of 2012 only to close a few months later. Now the equipment will be auctioned off and the mill dismantled
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 7:14 am

A paper mill on Washington’s central coast has had it's share of ups and downs over the past seven years.

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Capital Punishment
5:32 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Execution Witnesses In Washington To See Needle Insertion

File photo of the execution chamber at San Quentin. A camera in the execution chamber at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla will record more of more of the execution process.
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 6:02 pm

The next time a death row inmate is executed by lethal injection in Washington state, witnesses will see more of the process.

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Tax Exemptions
4:52 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Washington Governor Makes Another Push To Close Tax Exemptions

File photo of Washington Governor Jay Inslee
Christina Salerno TVW

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 4:48 pm

Washington Governor Jay Inslee continued his push on Tuesday for lawmakers to close tax exemptions to fund education.

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Gun Background Checks
4:21 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Giffords Urges Lawmakers To 'Fight, Fight, Fight' For Background Checks

File photo of the Washington State Capitol Building
Colin Fogarty Northwest News Network

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 4:05 pm

She was shot in the head during a mass shooting in Tucson, Arizona in 2011. Tuesday former Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords testified in Olympia in support of Initiative 594.

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Social Investment Bonds
4:59 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Washington Considers Private Investment Bonds To Address Social Problems

A view of Rikers Island in New York, United States from the air. LaGuardia Airport can be seen in the background.
Cdogsimmons Wikimedia

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 4:51 pm

Someday in the not too distant future social service programs in the Northwest could get funding from Wall Street.

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Minimum Wage
4:49 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Washington House Democrats Propose $12 Minimum Wage

File photo of the House Chamber at the Washington state Capitol in Olympia
Cacophony

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 4:33 pm

Washington’s minimum wage would rise to $12 per hour by 2017 under a proposal from Democrats in the state House.

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Minimum Wage
6:53 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Minimum Wage Fight May Heat Up In Olympia

Credit Wikipedia

The battle over Washington’s minimum wage could soon heat up at the Capitol. House Democrats may roll out a proposal as early as this week to increase the state’s base wage. It’s currently the highest in the nation at $9.32 an hour. But our Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins says don’t expect the measure to pass this year.

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