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Business News Roundup, May 13, 2021

An exemption for the qualified business income deduction, pandemic aid oversight, resumed oil flow, falling jobless claims, a recommendation on submarine construction, unemployment trust restoration, expanded COVID-19 vaccine access, and a manufacturer’s expansion in Connecticut are among the top business news items this morning.


President Joe Biden reportedly plans to exclude the qualified business income deduction, which allows pass-through business entities to deduct up to 20 percent of their eligible revenue, from higher taxes on the wealthy to fund the American Families Plan. The move may be motivated in part by its potential effect on people earning less than $400,000 a year, as Biden promised that any tax increases would not affect this income threshold.

With more than $5 trillion in federal aid approved since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, agencies have been under severe strain to prevent fraud and waste. The New York Times reports on the White House efforts to improve oversight of such programs.

The Colonial Pipeline has restarted operations after a ransomware attack that prompted its shutdown and led to price increases and fuel shortages on the East Coast. However, it will likely take several days before the pipeline can return to normal operations.

Jobless claims again fell last week, with initial claims dropping to 473,000. Continuing claims for the week ending May 1 remained around 3.65 million, with 16.8 million people receiving some sort of benefit when emergency federal programs are factored in.


A naval analyst with the Congressional Research Service has proposed that a joint production strategy for the U.S. Navy’s submarines, which splits construction of the boats between General Dynamics Electric Boat in Groton and Newport News in Virginia, could be terminated as a cost-saving measure. Doing so would force the shipyards to directly compete with each other, potentially driving down taxpayer costs as costly attack submarines take up larger share of the nation’s Navy shipbuilding budget.

The Connecticut House of Representatives has approved a bipartisan agreement to restore the state’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund. The measure includes expanding the taxable wage base, reducing solvency and experience taxes, and certain curtailments to benefits.

Following an endorsement by the Centers for Disease Control that Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is safe for children as young as 12, Connecticut clinics will make the vaccine available to younger residents. Approximately 170,000 children between the ages of 12 and 15 are now eligible for the shot.

Governor Ned Lamont has announced that Frito-Lay will be making a $235 million investment in its Killingly plant to expand operations, resulting in 120 new jobs. The project is set to be completed by the second quarter of 2024.

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