Relief is on the way for several short-handed courts in Virginia.

The General Assembly is filling 21 of 29 judicial vacancies that were frozen last year because of Virginia’s budget problems. That means judges in those districts will see their growing caseloads decrease, and citizens will not have to wait so long for their day in court.

The legislature’s decision to appropriate $3.7 million to fill the slots still leaves eight vacancies, along with two others that will occur in 2012. But legal professionals say it’s still a good boost for a legal system that in some areas was headed for trouble.

Lawmakers decided to fill vacancies where caseloads were the heaviest. They hope to fill the jobs by July, when the funding becomes available.