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.

His 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. Austin was part of a team that won a 2018 national Edward R. Murrow award for breaking news coverage.

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U.S. District Court Judge Marsha Pechman in Seattle will decide whether to approve a settlement requiring the state to establish programs to keep the mentally ill out of jail.
U.S. District Court / U.S. District Court

For years, mentally ill inmates in this state have languished in county jails awaiting state evaluations to determine if they're competent to stand trial.

But according to a legal settlement announced this Thursday, people with mental illness who are caught up in Washington state’s criminal justice system would get more services.

In cases when inmates are found not competent, they often wait weeks or months more to get a bed at a state hospital.

Washington Legislature / Washington Legislature

Central Washington University on Tuesday fired Republican state Rep. Matt Manweller from his position as a tenured professor of political science following a months-long investigation into his conduct toward students. 

Washington Republican Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers speaking at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland.
Flickr Photo/Gage Skidmore

Washington Republicans are regrouping after a primary election pounding Tuesday that extended beyond swing districts to rock-ribbed GOP pockets of the state.

Washington Legislature

Embattled Democratic state Rep. David Sawyer of Tacoma was in third place in early primary returns Tuesday night, an indication of the political fallout he’s facing over numerous allegations of inappropriate behavior toward women and an investigation that found he violated House harassment policy. 

Katheirne Hitt / Flickr - tinyurl.com/mobc9zf

The legalization of recreational marijuana in Washington state in 2012 resulted in a dramatic decrease in the number of people sentenced for marijuana-related felonies, according to an analysis conducted for public radio by the Washington State Caseload Forecast Council.

Seattle University School of Law

The past eight months have been a whirlwind of victories for Tarra Simmons—an honors law school graduate with a criminal past.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

In response to the #MeToo movement, the Washington state Senate will create a new human resources officer position to investigate complaints of harassment and other workplace misconduct, replacing a previous system of “facilitators” who served as a go-to resource for victims.

kidsworkchicago.com / tinyurl.com/ycuazqf4

It’s the agony of modern day parents: how to find and afford decent child care. This has become such a problem, the Washington Legislature has created a task force to tackle the issue.

WSDOT - tinyurl.com/yddspl8b

This week is the deadline for initiative backers in Washington and Oregon to submit their petitions to the Secretary of State’s office.

Washington Legislature

Calling former Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley "as unrepentant as any defendant in memory," federal prosecutors are asking that a judge sentence him to more than seven years in federal prison when he is sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court in Tacoma.

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