Roy McDonald was born and raised in the Lansingburgh section of Troy, New York. He currently resides with his family in Saratoga County. Roy graduated from the Lansingburgh Public School System and received his Associate Degree from Hudson Valley Community College. He earned his Bachelors and Masters degrees from the State University of New York at Oneonta. Both schools have honored Roy with Distinguished Alumni Awards.
A decorated veteran of the Vietnam War, Roy served as an Artillery Forward Observer with the U. S. Army’s First Cavalry Division. He participated in numerous combat assaults on the South Vietnamese-Cambodian border, as well as in Cambodia itself. Roy is a member of the Saratoga VFW, Saratoga American Legion, Vietnam Veterans of America and the Lansingburgh Veterans Association.
Roy was elected to the 43rd Senate District in 2008. Prior to the Senate, Roy served as an Assemblyman in the 112th District. He had served in the Assembly since February 2002. Roy had a distinguished record for 23 years as the Town and County Supervisor from Wilton. He proudly served as Chairman of the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors. Some of his achievements included the total elimination of local town property taxes (general and highway funds) for 20 consecutive years, the creation of the 3000 acre Wilton Wildlife Preserve and Park, building the Town’s Gavin Park Complex, the Wilton Veteran’s housing facility and playing a major role in the extremely successful economic development of Wilton. As a member of the Board of Supervisors he proposed the County Budget which led to the success of Saratoga County being the lowest taxed county in the State.
Roy had a number of major initiatives passed by the legislature and signed into law. The New York State Patriot Plans I, II & III were designed to provide safeguards, benefits and incentives to our New York State military personnel including the National Guard and Reserves. He was also the author of the Saratoga-Washington on the Hudson Partnership; legislation to address collaborative agriculture, open space protection, tourism as well as to promote preservation of the cultural and historic significance of the Revolutionary War sites within the Saratoga Region.
Roy has been a leader among his colleagues regarding disability and autism awareness. He has two grandsons, Jacob and David, both of whom suffer from autism. Working at the local and state levels, Roy hosted forums to listen and learn from community members that were dealing with autism spectrum disorders. In turn, he sponsored legislation to guarantee that informational booklets would be given to emergency first responders on persons with autism, so that they would be more adequately prepared to react in those situations. Roy also created the Saratoga County Autism Council, an organization charged with providing education, respite and early intervention to those suffering from developmental disabilities and their families.
With passage of the three Patriot Plan bills, Roy is working on expanding the incentives given to veterans and their families. He has been actively involved on a rural recovery proposal aimed at assisting volunteer emergency and fire services, as well as addressing rural health care, education, infrastructure, transportation and economic development. Roy has advocated for the creation of the Agricultural Empire Zone Program providing major incentives to assist the farming community. Additionally, Roy is working hard to help the old urban areas of the 43rd Senate District, such as the cities of Troy, Mechanicville, and Rensselaer. He is especially concerned about the health care and school systems in these cities.
Roy is a banker by profession, and is proud of his career journey which began several years ago as a laborer in the same local steel mill that employed his father and many other relatives who also worked as laborers.
Roy serves as a foundation board member for Hudson Valley Community College, the Rensselaer County Commission on Economic Opportunity, as well as the Saratoga County Economic Opportunity Council. He is an active member of the Friends of 112th Street Park in Lansingburgh, the Saratoga-Wilton Elks and the American Irish Legislators Society.
Roy is proud of his community service as a member of the Lansingburgh Boys and Girls Club Board of Directors, and a former member of both the Saratoga YMCA Board of Directors and the Saratoga County Retired Seniors Volunteer Program.
In recognition of his leadership and hard work, Roy has been the recipient of many awards including those from the Saratoga County ARC, the Saratoga Economic Development Corporation, the Wilton Volunteer Fire Department, the Wilton Emergency Medical Squad, the New York State Correction Officers Police Benevolent Association, the New York State Nature Conservancy and Saratoga Plan. Roy has also been the recipient of the Saratoga Good Scout Award; as well as the Saratoga-Wilton Elks Man of the Year and has been inducted into the Lansingburgh High School Foundation Hall of Fame.
Roy and his wife, Angelina Zaccagnino-McDonald, are the proud parents of daughters Julie, Jessica and Stephanie, sons-in-law Matt Veitch and Jeff Youngberg, and grandsons Jacob and David McDonald Veitch.
Roy currently serves as the Chairman of the Senate's Mental Health Committee and is also a member of the Alcoholism & Drug Abuse, Commerce Economic Development & Small Business, Health, Labor, Local Governments, Racing, Gaming & Wagering, and the Veterans, Homeland Security & Military Affairs Senate Standing Committees.