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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New 2014 Laws
4:11 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

New Laws In Washington: Rioting Gets Name Change, Seahawks Fandom Licensed

November 1999 photo of WTO protests in Seattle.
Isabel Esterman Flickr

Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 12:36 pm

After January 1, rioting will still be a crime in Washington. But it will get a new name. And Seahawks fans will have a new way to show their loyalty to the team.

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DUI
4:07 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

New Year Brings Sobriety Testing For Repeat Drunk Drivers

Officer Durbin of the Portland Police Department tests volunteer Jennifer Van Vleet for blood alcohol level in this 2009 file photo.
Oregon Department of Transportation

Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 12:59 pm

Repeat drunk drivers in Washington who get arrested in the New Year may find themselves ordered to blow into a breathalyzer twice a day.

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Washington Lobbyists
4:42 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

Free Meal Complaint Against Lawmakers Dismissed, 'Serious Concerns' Remain

Robert S. Donovan Flickr

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 1:54 pm

An ethics panel in Washington has ruled that five Republican state senators did not violate Washington ethics law when they accepted dozens of free meals from lobbyists earlier this year.

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Minimum Wage
4:44 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Governor Inslee Says Time For Statewide Minimum Wage Discussion

File photo of Washington Governor Jay Inslee
Christina Salerno TVW

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 10:02 am

 Washington Governor Jay Inslee says it’s time for a discussion on raising the state’s minimum wage - already the nation's highest.

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Washington Budget
4:35 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Inslee Proposes More Prison Beds, No Teacher COLAs In Budget Update

Members of the Washington Education Association wore these buttons to Governor Jay Inslee’s supplemental budget rollout to signify five years without voter-approved cost-of-living increases.
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 9:01 am

More prison beds, but no cost of living raises for school teachers are two takeaways after Washington Governor Jay Inslee proposed a modest update to the state’s two-year budget.

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Marijuana
5:35 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Seed-To-Sale Tracking Alone Won't Stop Marijuana 'Leakage'

Katheirne Hitt Flickr

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 3:02 am

As Washington moves to legalize recreational pot, preventing “leakage” to other states like Oregon and Idaho is a top priority of the U.S. Justice Department

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Oregon Liquor
5:09 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Liquor Privatization Battle Could Be Headed For Oregon

Tom Banse Northwest News Network

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 5:52 pm

Oregon voters could have the chance to follow Washington's lead next year when it comes to liquor sales.

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Tom Chambers Obituary
4:35 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

Foster Care, Public Defense Among Justice Chambers' Legacies

Former Washington Supreme Court Justice Tom Chambers died of cancer at age 70.
Washington Supreme Court

Originally published on Thu December 12, 2013 4:31 pm

Retired Washington Supreme Court Justice Tom Chambers died late Wednesday at the age of 70.

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Icy Roads
4:50 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

Watching For 'Spray' And Other Tips For Navigating Icy Roads

File photo. Winter is just arriving and potentially icy commutes could be around for months in the Northwest.
Michael @ NW Lens Flickr

Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 3:46 pm

The Northwest’s deep freeze is over for most of the region, but snow remains in some areas and winter is just arriving. That means more cold temperatures and potentially icy commutes in the months ahead.

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Lobbyist-Paid Meals
4:30 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

Washington Lawmakers To Get Clearer Guidance On Lobbyist-Paid Meals

Robert S. Donovan Flickr

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 2:14 pm

Washington lawmakers will soon get clearer guidance on when it’s okay to accept free meals from lobbyists.

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