Albany - January 11, 2011 – Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos announced his appointments to the legislative committees of the New York State Senate and selected Senator McDonald to chair the Mental Health Committee along with placing McDonald on nine additional key committees.
“Senator McDonald has proven himself to be a leader when it comes to protecting and providing for those with disabilities while recognizing the hardships these individuals and their families deal with on an everyday basis,” said Majority Leader Skelos. “I’m confident Roy will do an outstanding job in this position.”
McDonald has traveled the state in his capacity as the Chairman of the Senate Task Force on Autism and Similar Type Disabilities, learning the ins and outs of the mental health industry and the services that are needed for those with disabilities.
“I’ve heard their stories and seen the faces of family members distraught because of the difficulties they face due to a disability, I’ve learned firsthand as the grandfather of two little guys, Jacob and David, who are struggling, persevering and growing up with Autism,” said McDonald. “These are hard economic times, and hard decisions need to be made, but we cannot leave anyone behind or unfairly hurt a single person. Mental health issues are a major problem in American society today that need to be dealt with.”
McDonald will return to the Racing, Gaming and Wagering committee and bring his local experience to an issue that is extremely important to the entire Capitol Region. He served as the ranking member of the Racing & Wagering committee in the Assembly, and was involved in significant projects during his time as a Saratoga County Supervisor such as authorizing the installation of VLTs at the Saratoga Raceway.
The Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business Committee is a new post for McDonald, but with years of economic development experience as a Town and County Supervisor it is a natural fit.
McDonald was significantly involved in the creation of the Luther Forest Technology Park and sponsored the legislation bringing GLOBALFOUNDRIES to Malta, widely recognized as the largest economic development project in the United States. He also spent several years as the Chairman of the Economic Development Committee on the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors.
As a decorated Veteran of the Vietnam War, McDonald brings valuable experience to the Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs Committee.
Throughout his time in state office, McDonald has authored and sponsored significant legislation to assist Veterans. This includes Patriot Plans I, II and III, along with scholarships to assist local community college students. At the local level, McDonald had success in Wilton where he created a Veterans Housing Facility for homeless and transitory Veterans.
Two new additional committees for McDonald will also include Local Governments and Transportation. McDonald brings 23 years of experience as a Town and County Supervisor, and a Chairman of the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors along with serving on a similar committee in the Assembly. Accomplishments such as eliminating taxes in Wilton and making Saratoga the lowest tax county in the state outline some of the experience McDonald will bring to the Local Governments Committee.
McDonald will focus on Upstate roads and bridges along with improving infrastructure in his position on the Transportation committee. Local road, sewer and water infrastructure improvements were a focus for McDonald during his work as a Town and County Supervisor.
Another important position for McDonald will be on the Health Committee, he served on the Saratoga County Health Committee along with similar committees in the New York State Assembly.