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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School Funding Vote
5:56 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Education Watchers In Washington Eye Colorado School Funding Vote

Washington state Rep. Larry Seaquist chairs the House Higher Education Committee
Washington Legislature

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 3:17 pm

A decade after Washington voters defeated a one-cent sales tax increase for schools, a school funding vote in Colorado has education watchers in Washington paying close attention.

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GMO Labeling
5:48 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Power Of Messaging On Display In Washington's GMO Labeling Fight

Oregon Department of Agriculture

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 5:16 pm

Voters are about to decide whether Washington becomes the first state in the nation to label some genetically engineered foods.

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Washington Transportation
6:07 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Washington Governor, Lawmakers Meet On Transportation Funding

Senate Transportation co-chair Tracey Eide
Washington Senate Democrats

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 5:25 pm

Washington Governor Jay Inslee has said he wants a transportation funding package on his desk by the end of November. Key lawmakers met with the Democratic governor Wednesday on this topic.

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Washington Pension Dispute
4:07 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Billions At Stake As Washington Supreme Court Hears Pension Cases

File photo of the interior of the Washington state Supreme Court
Cacophony Wikimedia

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 3:24 pm

Billions of dollars are at stake as the Washington Supreme Court considers a pair of pension cases. Oral arguments were Thursday.

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Medical Marijuana Taxes & Regulations
4:52 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

Washington Proposes Medical Marijuana Registry, Tax Exemption

Mjpresson Wikimedia

Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 5:48 pm

Medical marijuana patients in Washington would have to register with the state if they don’t want to pay pot taxes.

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JBLM Memorial
4:33 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

Tears, Vows To Remember As Permanent Memorial Unveiled At JBLM

Debbie Ward, in pink, fights tears as she looks at a newly unveiled memorial for fallen military police soldiers at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Her son PFC Aaron Ward was killed in Iraq in 2008.
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 3:54 pm

As a decade of war winds down, Joint Base Lewis-McChord is adding to a memorial park for the fallen.

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Tom Foley Death
10:17 am
Fri October 18, 2013

Former Speaker Of The House Tom Foley Dead At 84

Former Speaker of the House Tom Foley died Friday at the age of 84.
U.S. House of Representatives

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 1:27 pm

Former Speaker of the U.S. House Tom Foley died Friday morning at his current home in Washington, DC. He was 84. 

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Government Shutdown & The Economy
4:53 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Visitors Return, But Economic Damage Done As Northwest National Parks Reopen

Cars line up at the Nisqually entrance to Mt. Rainier National Park on the first day the park reopened following a 16-day partial government shutdown.
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 4:42 pm

From Crater Lake to Mt. Rainier, visitors wasted no time returning to the Northwest’s national parks and monuments.

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Signature Gathering Initiative
4:19 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Grocers Push Back On Tim Eyman's Initiative On Initiatives

Washington grocers say Initiative 517 would infringe on their private property rights. Sponsors reject that claim.
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 3:58 pm

Over the years, Washington lawmakers have pondered ways to rein-in the state’s initiative process. Now comes a ballot measure designed to make it easier to qualify for the ballot.

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Washington Marijuana Rules
4:05 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Washington Marijuana Rules Pave Way For Stores Next Year

Katheirne Hitt Flickr

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 3:05 pm

Washington’s Liquor Control Board has formally adopted 43 pages of rules for legal, recreational marijuana.

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