State Legislatures magazine is conducting a series of interviews and asking legislative staff about their role in the legislature. If you'd like to suggest a legislative staffer for this series, please email Holly South at NCSL.
Travis Moore is a research analyst for the nonpartisan Legislative Research Office of the Nebraska Legislature.
What’s your specific role in the legislature?
I am a research analyst for the nonpartisan Legislative Research Office of the Nebraska Legislature. I also oversee the reference library housed within the Legislative Research Office.
How/why did you choose to work at the legislature?
Every fourth grader in Nebraska learns about state history, and in high school we learn about state and local government. From an early age, I have been fascinated with Nebraska’s nonpartisan Unicameral Legislature, primarily because I grew up in a small town of 200 people and was neighbors with our state senator. This man inspired me to get involved with local government and was ultimately my reason for wanting to be a part of Nebraska’s unique legislative branch of state government.
What do you find most enjoyable and/or rewarding about your job?
In a small office like ours, we have policy areas on which we focus, but we are also expected to handle requests that fall outside of our areas of expertise. This gives me the opportunity to learn about a variety of subjects. Also, as nonpartisan division staff, we get to work one-on-one with legislators and their staffs to provide essential important information that helps in the enactment of future policies. Though I am not the one enacting laws, it’s rewarding to see our hard work making a difference for people across the state.
What has been your greatest challenge or frustration?
One of the most challenging aspects of my job has been researching topics that I do not necessarily agree with or providing research that I know will be used to argue a position I personally oppose. I have learned to put my personal opinions aside in order to provide quality research that is unbiased and accurate.
What work are you proud of?
I am most proud of my work with our library collection. Even though I had no previous experience working in the library, I have worked to reorganize and renovate the way things had previously been done. I have also used technology to streamline certain processes and to make information more accessible.
When you are not working, what might we find you doing?
I am the father of a daughter and three boys— ages 8, 7, 5 and 3— and enjoy time outdoors, riding bikes, playing board games, reading books, watching movies, and playing video games with my kids. My other hobbies include cooking, gardening, and traveling with my wife.
Any insights for your peers? Any shoutouts to colleagues or legislators you’ve worked with?
First, I would like to thank the Director of the Nebraska Legislative Research Office—Nancy Cyr— for the opportunities to grow and take on new responsibilities. Secondly, a huge shoutout to staff and members of the Legislative Research Librarians staff section for welcoming me into your organization and for being great resources who are easy to work with. Lastly, I would like to thank the amazing staff at NCSL for their assistance on a variety of subject matters and for making my job a little easier.
Anything else you think your legislative staff peers might find interesting or want to know about you, your agency or your legislature?
I live in a small town east of Lincoln and currently serve as the chairman of the Village Board of Trustees, which is similar to serving on the city council. It’s important for me to be involved and give back to my community.