From the Morning Memo:

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio returns to Albany today with an altered political and power landscape.

Gone as majority leader is Dean Skelos, the Nassau County Republican who de Blasio made little secret of trying to oust from power in last year’s elections.

Skelos resigned this month from his leadership post and was replaced by John Flanagan, a Suffolk County lawmaker who has made conciliatory statements with regard to the liberal New York City mayor.

“He’s the mayor of the city of New York,” Flanagan said in a Capital Tonight interview after he was elected leader. “So he is a key player. He deserves fundamental respect for who he is, and more importantly, for the job that he has.”

The state Republican Committee is less welcoming.

In a statement due to be sent later this morning, state Republican spokesman David Laska fired a preemptive shot over the mayor’s bow, knocking his recent travels to midwestern states to push progressive measures (The New York Post has reported de Blasio is considering a bid for the White House; de Blasio allies and other political observers aren’t buying it).

“New York is learning what happens when the Mayor prioritizes his personal national ambitions over running New York: crime is on the rise, public schools are still failing our children, and Bill de Blasio’s signature initiative, Vision Zero, isn’t working,” Laska said in a statement.

De Blasio’s success in Albany, so far, has been something of a mixed bag.

Like his predecessors, he has sought more autonomy for New York City from the state, and has tangled with the Legislature on issues that range from changing the speed limit on certain city streets to winning a minimum wage increase for the five boroughs.

But now the stakes are different as Albany enters the final 12 days of the legislative session: Rent control is due to expire next month, as is 421a, a tax abatement he is seeking changes to.

Meanwhile, de Blasio is seeking an extension of mayoral control of city schools. The Democratic-led Assembly passed a measure for a three-year extension.

Senate Republicans have suggested they support extending it, but have not given timeline for how long it could be extended (One expectation is Senate Republicans could trade a raising of the state’s cap on charter schools for a mayoral control extension).

More broadly for de Blasio the question remains: How will Gov. Andrew Cuomo choose to engage the mayor this time?