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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Oregon shoppers and bottled water will remain untaxed in Washington’s next two-year budget, but a couple of other tax exemptions will be eliminated.

Washington’s gas tax would go up nearly 12 cents per gallon to fund road projects under a deal struck between Democrats and Republicans.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

With a third special session underway, the Washington House and Senate plan to vote sometime Monday on a two-year budget. A vote on a gas tax package is also possible this week. It follows a whirlwind weekend of negotiations.

Washington lawmakers still have time to get a budget deal and avert a partial government shutdown July 1.

The state of Washington has sent email alerts to 26,000 state employees notifying them of temporary layoff.

Washington House Democrats are moving forward with a plan to eliminate several tax exemptions, but they don’t yet have buy-in from Senate Republicans.

Washington lawmakers have until the 30-day special session runs out on June 27 to reach a budget deal. If they fail to do so, a partial government shutdown would begin on July 1.

There’s still no budget deal in Olympia, but Washington House Democrats said Friday they’re willing to drop their push for a state capital gains tax.

If Washington lawmakers don’t have a budget by the end of the month, state government will shut down. But it would only be a partial shutdown.

Former Washington state Rep. Susan Fagan has agreed to reimburse taxpayers after filing false expense reports.