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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Washington’s state ethics board has dismissed complaints against several current and former officials at the state Department of Commerce. Three of those former staffers now work for clean energy start-up companies that are benefiting from a state grant program.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee is defending his investigation of the accidental early release of more than 3,000 prison inmates. The Democrat responded Thursday after Republican state senators announced they plan to use their subpoena power to conduct their own inquiry.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee has issued an emergency order to stop the tunneling project along Seattle’s downtown waterfront. The tunnel will replace the aging Highway 99 viaduct.

For the third time in less than a year, a Washington state employee has been accused of having sex with a juvenile offender. The most recent arrest happened this week at a state juvenile lock-up in Chehalis.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee used his State of the State speech to pledge accountability when government fails. The Democrat’s comments Tuesday follow the early release of more than 3,000 prison inmates because of a computer coding error.

Six Northwest state lawmakers made a weekend visit to Burns, Oregon, the site of an armed occupation by opponents of federal land policies.

It’s a new year, but the saga continues. The state of Washington has missed a deadline to provide competency services to jail inmates within seven days. And in some cases wait times are getting worse not better.

Corrections Secretary Dan Pacholke faced questions from state lawmakers Monday as the 2016 legislative session convened. The head of Washington’s prison system called the accidental early release of more than 3,000 inmates the “largest single error” in his agency’s history.

Washington voters could decide in November on a combined minimum wage and sick leave measure . A union-backed campaign calling itself “Raise Up Washington” filed an initiative Monday to raise the state’s base wage to $13.50 an hour by 2020.

A Washington prison inmate who was accidentally released early and then locked back up has been granted a rare medical furlough. Bobby Davis said his re-release from prison this week came as a welcome surprise.

Washington lawmakers return to the Capitol on Monday for a short election-year session. They say getting bipartisan agreement on a school funding plan is a top priority.

According to the latest non-partisan Elway Poll released Wednesday, Washington Governor Jay Inslee leads his top Republican challenger by nine points. Pollster Stuart Elway said a nine point race at this early stage seems like a tight race.

A member of the Washington National Guard has emerged as a vocal supporter of the armed occupiers in eastern Oregon.

Staff Sgt. Maureen Peltier has served in the Guard since 2000. She even deployed to Iraq. But over the years she says she’s come to believe that corruption and a toxic environment exists in many parts of the U.S. government. Thus her interest in what she calls the patriot movement.

“I’ve been watching the patriot movement quietly for years while serving,” Peltier said.

Elaine Thompson / AP

As many as 3,200 Washington inmates were released early because of a computer glitch that went unfixed for 13 years.  break

Gov. Jay Inslee made that announcement at a news conference Tuesday during which he vowed to "fix this, fix it fast, and fix it right.”

Heavy rains in the lowlands and heavy snow in the mountains are making holiday travel tricky.

How much would you pay to see Adele in concert? Tickets to her sold-out Seattle shows in July are selling on StubHub for as much as $8,500.

Fans may be frustrated, but it’s perfectly legal.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee will roll out his proposed update to the state’s two-year budget on Thursday. One of the chief spending items will be paying for last summer’s fire season.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee has made clean energy a signature issue of his administration. But some state clean energy grant money is flowing to startup companies staffed by former top state officials.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee has set his sights on a clean energy future for the state. Since taking office he’s helped convince the legislature to put $75 million into a Clean Energy Fund.

It has taken five years, but low-copper and copper-free brakes are now available in Washington. That’s because of a 2010 law designed to phase out the use of copper and other toxics in brake pads.

Washington’s voter-approved background check law for private gun sales has been in effect for a year. But so far there’ve been no reports of arrests or prosecutions.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee will run for re-election in 2016. The first-term Democrat hasn’t made an official announcement yet, but said he would run in an exclusive interview on TVW’s “Inside Olympia” program.

Indicted Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley says money was “not a factor” in his decision to return to work this week. Kelley had been on unpaid leave of absence for the past seven months pending his federal trial.

Indicted Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley suddenly returned to office Tuesday, pending his federal criminal trial in March for money laundering and tax evasion. The first-term Democrat is also under investigation by the state for hiring a former business associate to work in the auditor’s office.

A bipartisan group of Washington lawmakers has introduced a resolution to impeach indicted State Auditor Troy Kelley. That announcement Monday follows months of calls for the first-term Democrat to resign after being charged with possession of stolen funds and tax evasion unrelated to his duties in office.

A federal judge in Tacoma Thursday ordered the feds to return to indicted Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley $900,000 it seized in September. The feds maintained that money was “tainted.”

The attorney for indicted Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley aggressively sought to undermine the case against his client during a pretrial hearing in Tacoma.

Indicted Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley is scheduled to be back in court Tuesday. He’s fighting to get back nearly $1 million the feds seized in September.

The Washington state Capitol campus could soon be a no-fly-zone for drones. The agency that oversees the 486-acre campus is considering a strict ban.

Federal agents started investigating indicted Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley before he was elected to that office. That’s according to a document prosecutors filed Tuesday in federal court.